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Lifestyle blocks ‘put pressure on farms and food production’

The growth of rural ‘lifestyle properties’ in New Zealand is driving an increased loss of productive farmland and food crops, a government report has said.

The Environment Aotearoa 2019 report, published by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, stresses the need for more research into the environmental impacts of urban expansion and the popularity of lifestyle blocks.

It estimates that an annual average of 5,800 lifestyle blocks have been established over the past 20 years. A survey in 2011 found that there were more than 175,000 lifestyle blocks, occupying 873,000 hectares.

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