Urban housing spread putting horticultural land 'under threat'

Councils may soon have to consider and protect good-quality growing land when looking at housing developments.

There's concern that hectares of land traditionally used for agriculture is being lost by housing developments - and that could threaten supply of fruit and vegetables.

Mike Chapman, chief executive of Horticulture New Zealand, told RadioLIVE's Rural Exchange it's an issue which need addressing. 

"Around every major city - for example in Auckland there is Pukekohe - but also around Christchurch and Hastings we have fantastic growing land that is under threat from housing and more particularly lifestyle blocks that take that land away," he said.

Mr Chapman says his organisation has been talking to the Government about making changes to the Resource Management Act to make sure the loss of growing land is controlled.

"This would mean a national ruling that councils will have to take account of, so high-quality land can be protected, and this needs to be done with some urgency around Pukekohe," he said.

He is hoping that the change will go ahead early next year, and ripple across the country.

"There is a balance, but this issue need to be dealt with sensibly and logically," said Mr Chapman.

Watch the full interview with Mike Chapman above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter's Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.