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Land Use

Kotare Layout-2

The Village Centre

This is one of two portions of the ‘Home Block’.

The village land is flat, free or easy draining. Even after several days of rain, it only takes a few days of fine weather before the soil can be worked and vehicles driven around on the grass. It is only moderately fertile, however we are able to improve the fertility very quickly and maintain good crops. The flatness and free draining soil makes it an ideal location for easy walking, biking, hand carts and low energy internal transport. There is enough land around the housing to include a large area of bio-intensive gardens for self-reliance in vegetable (and possibly grain) production.

The Village Centre will be comprised of the following:

Quarter-acre individual house sites (18 units)
Approximately 1000 – 1800m2 lots that are leased from the Kotare Community Land Trust. There are 18 of these, in two clusters. Each cluster has a village green and there is a camping area ablutions to service pioneers who wish to settle while they build there dwellings.

Smaller size individual housing area (up to 22 units)

Approximately 400 – 700m2 lots that are leased from the Kotare Community Trust. There are 22 of these, with some in each of the three clusters. Each cluster has a village green.

Community Facilities Area
For common use, these include

  • Small meeting hall/Marae (per cluster)
  • Large village hall/Marae
  • Workshop
  • Studios
  • Food processing center
  • Cottage industry buildings
  • Fuel and timber processing, etc.

Multi-use area

  • Community gardens
  • Amenity plantings, wilderness and tracks
  • Perennial polyculture with fruit and nuts
  • Coppicing firewood and building timbers
  • Dams and wetlands

The Koanga Institute site

  • Campus for students, interns, and apprentices
  • Research and business centre to support regenerative living
  • Heritage collection of seeds and fruit trees
  • Seed and nursery production gardens
  • Office for its commercial activities
  • Staff rental accommodation (5 small dwellings)
  • Student/intern accommodation (campsites, 10 cabins, and ablution block)

The Koanga Institute’s site is about 2ha.  It sits in the centre of the village, which reflects the important role it is holding in the economy of the village, both now and into the future.

Thorny Croft

This is the second of two portions of the Home Block. This will be used in the long run to produce pork and eggs, milk production and tree crops (oak, mulberry, apples, hazels, and many other lesser-known tree crops and legumes. There will also be a meat processing facility for production from here, and the neighboring grazing areas.

The River Terrace – The ‘River Block’

This is the heaviest of our soils, and easy to run water to. We expect this will make the best pasture for dairy cows, and some tree crops that prefer heavier soils.

The ‘Hill Block’

Of its 55 hectares, approximately 30ha is well suited to grazing, and perhaps 10 ha of this is suited to tree cropping (chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, olives etc.) This land warms early in spring, and is an ideal support for the Thorny Croft farm. There is a large potential for harvesting and storing water during the wetter months, for use during the drier summer. There are many good high dam sites for storage, which are allowing for our gravity-fed water supplies to the village and the cropping areas.


Approximately 30ha has been put aside to regenerate bush, providing us with some wilderness areas.  With the river nearby, the area is home to many wildfowl; there are resident populations of deer, and wild pigs.  The river has eels, and mullet in the summer. We have a small resident population of wood pigeon, hawk, morepork, fantails and wax eyes, plus many sparrows, magpies and mynas.

The Mangaone Stream

This perennial, clean, stoney-bottomed stream will operate ram pumps to send water to storage all year. It may also possibly provide hydroelectric power, mainly in the winter.

The Mangapoike River

This clean, stoney-bottomed moderate-size river is our favourite summer swimming place. It floods very strongly in winter, which may prevent its use for hydroelectric power (still to be researched).