A potential new subdivision near Rotorua's Pohutukawa Drive is one of many areas currently being developed in response to the city's housing crisis.

Consents issued for potential lots in Rotorua have soared, going from 35 in the 2015/2016 financial year to 172 in 2016/2017 and 110 in this financial year so far.

The 2.8ha section off Maple Grove, Owhata, has consent for 32 sections and is one of multiple green field subdivisions taking place around the city.

A greenfield residential development is a larger block of sections in an open environment.


On November 1 last year there were 48 new potential sections being sold on Trade Me as part of larger land blocks and Rotorua Lakes Council had four to five additional greenfield residential developments in the pre-application phase.

As at yesterdaythere were more than 70 sections or potential sections being sold.

Harcourts Rotorua sales consultant Hielke Oppers, who is selling the Maple Grove block, said he was hoping to find a developer right for the area.

Oppers said Maple Grove, off Pohutukawa Drive, was a nice, quiet street.

"They won't be your $300,000 a section, but there is a chance to create a new small community of houses.

"We've seen it in other places around Rotorua in the lower socioeconomic areas.

"There are plenty of areas where it was shown to have its issues but developers created their own little communities and that helped the area."

He said there were examples of this in areas around Fordlands and Ngongotaha.


Deputy mayor and council sustainable economic development portfolio lead Dave Donaldson said it was pleasing to see more sections becoming available.

"Some of the feedback that I get, from different sectors of the community, is that there are jobs in Rotorua, but it is hard for families to find housing that meets their needs.

"Seeing a growth in employment, particularly our tourist sector, means we need to see a full range of housing, and there appears to be a good mix in these new sections."

Last year Rotorua moved to a medium growth status with a population of 71,700, up from 70,500 in 2016 and 68,400 in 2013, and that's reflected in the consents.

"The signs are there that we will get continued growth, so it's great to see the consents coming through, just for Rotorua to meet its housing needs," Donaldson said.

LJ Hooker Rotorua principal Malcolm Forsyth said the company had a lot of interest in the 36 sections on Vaughan Rd, Owhata, it put up for sale in November.

"There are already people signed up to a number of sections and from the inquiries we have received it will lead to more sign-ups."

He said people weren't buying sections over the Christmas period but he was expecting all 36 would be snapped up soon.

"Earthworks will begin within the next two months, probably even earlier. We anticipate all 36 sold out by the middle of the year and we could see the first titles by November.

"Of course there are variables, with the weather being a major one. After last year we learnt you just never know what could happen."

Meanwhile, FHB Group managing director Rob Davies said it was getting ready to begin ground works at the Kawaha Point Villas next month.

The Ian St development will be made up of 29 two to three-bedroom houses priced at $450,000, aimed at first-home buyers.

Ray White Rotorua co-owner Tim O'Sullivan said the agency was moving into the second stage of a lifestyle block development on Fryer Rd, Hamurana.

"It's a rural block of land in the process of being subdivided."

He said in stage one there were six sections available

"We are now in the process of opening stage two because of the high interest we have already had."

A would-be Pukehangi Rd developer, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was waiting on consent for his land.

"We have started with earthmoving at the consent of the regional council.

"There's a lot of land around that people want to develop and we want to develop here."

A land block on Tarawera Rd which was listed as a potential site for more than 40 new sections is no longer available to view online and Ray White did not wish to comment.