A lovely semi-rural lakeside environment and new houses priced well below what they'd cost 45 minutes away in Auckland are key to Lakeside in Te Kauwhata, says its developer.

Winton senior investment adviser Duncan Elley says: "We've got two-bedroom freestanding homes starting from $480,000, which you just couldn't achieve in Auckland."

Winton purchased 179ha of land beside Lake Waikere, which has been rezoned for a new community. Buyers can purchase off the plans, choosing from an extensive portfolio of home designs which will be built by established national home building companies.

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The land had been farmed since the 1900s, before which it was significant in the Waikato Land Wars.

"Lake Waikere is one of the biggest shallow peat lakes in the North Island but I think that previously a lot of people haven't been aware that it even exists," Elley says. "You've got to actually drive through Te Kauwhata's township before you see it."

The development is being marketed with the descriptor tagline 'Auckland's favourite Kiwi town'.

"We're selling this as a relaxed rural environment and a quintessentially Kiwi community.

"We were looking for somewhere close to water because we know owners love water views and close to an existing township.

"Being next to an existing township is so important; you've already got the local rugby
club, bowls, Scouts and Keas and existing schools."

The Ministry of Education will open a new primary school onsite in 2027.

"Because part of the charm of this place is the large tracts of green space we are dedicating 75ha as a reserve and will dedicate more land to an iwi reserve because of the site's cultural significance."

The developers will establish boardwalks, cycling and walking tracks around the lake and will form a secondary man-made lake.

Winton know, from their experience creating master-planned communities, including Northlake in Wanaka and Bridesdale Farm at Lake Hayes, the importance of including a neighbourhood centre. Lakeside's neighbourhood centre will include a cafe, a playground and medical offices.

Winton chose SGA Architects to design an extensive portfolio of home designs.

"We asked them to create some very functional designs that would be of high quality, look really good and fit in with the surrounding environment and landscape," Elley says.

Buyers can choose from 30 house designs or purchase a section on which to design a home fitting with the look of the community.

The 16 designs under the Modern category are two or three bedrooms, conceived to be at the more affordable end of the spectrum. The Vanguard category offers 14 three- and four-bedroom homes.

All homes will be freehold on their own sections. Exteriors are diverse but include materials such as Linea weatherboards, Axon and Stria panels.

Some 300 people visited Lakeside's display suite and five show homes on its first open day and this weekend's Sunday, 12pm-2.30pm open day will include free food and entertainment.

Elley believes demand will outstrip supply when the first 39 homes are released on November 17. He says pre-registering, paying a $1000 refundable deposit before the launch day allows buyers to be first in queue.

The ballot for the 10 KiwiBuild houses among this first release of Lakeside residences closes November 25.

98 Scott Road, Te Kauwhata, Lakeside
• What you need to know: Lakeside at 98 Scott Rd, Te Kauwhata has 30 stand-alone home designs to choose from. The Release A1 pricing for sections ranging from 362sq m-772sq m includes:
A): The Alexander: Two bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 69sq m home from $499,000.
B): The Kennet III: Three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 91sqm home from $569,000.
C): The Waikato IV: Four bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 137sqm home including garage from $695,000.
D): Design your own home: purchase a section from $260,000 to design your own home. All homes are freehold, so no body corporate fees.
• Inspect: Display suite at 98 Scott Rd, Te Kauwhata, open Sun, Nov 11 12-2.30pm with sales launch Sat, Nov 17 10-4.30pm.
• Schools: Te Kauwhata Primary, Te Kauwhata College.
• Contact: Nigel White, Bayleys, 022 121 0700, Mark Fourie, 021 349 530, winton.nz/our-projects/lakeside