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Walks, water views and a warm community

Shot two 6

Ivy and her husband Ton previously owned a home together in Papatoetoe, Auckland, but Ivy says when COVID-19 came along it changed their life. They had long dreamed of getting out of the city and moving somewhere with a quieter pace and a rural outlook. 

“When my employer said, ‘ok, you can work from home from now on’, we put our house on the market the same week.” Ivy works as an accountant and Ton is retired. They were after a home where Ton could step out of the house for a walk and not be met by traffic. 

Ivy says they looked on Google Maps for a small town between Auckland and Hamilton and “saw Te Kauwhata slap bang in the middle. We took a leisurely drive there and found Lakeside,” which fitted the bill perfectly. 

Their first home at Lakeside was a two-bedroom house which they lived in for three years. They have recently upsized to a three-bedroom home built by Golden Homes. She and Ton paid $650,000 for their home. 

Ivy says they each got something they wanted out of the shift. “I got a third bedroom for my home office and Ton got a garage, but we also got the view of the rolling hills and Lake Waikare from the house.” 

The couple enjoyed watching the steel framed house go up and are impressed with the quality of their home. They’re delighted with its layout, views and the fact it has a ventilation system. “Golden Homes was a pleasure to communicate with,” says Ivy. They were responsive to requests and worked hard to make sure Ivy and Ton were happy.


The couple love the rural landscape and being part of local events. The annual Te Kauwhata Agricultural and Pastoral (A&P) show is a favourite. “Coming to a farming community is something new for us,” says Ivy. “We have been city dwellers all our lives and we were overwhelmed with happiness when we arrived at Lakeside.”

For Ivy, Lakeside’s hidden gems are the extensive walking paths and her neighbours. She and Ton combine these two into their daily walks around Lakeside, chatting to neighbours and picking up gardening tips. “We don’t have family in New Zealand so neighbours are important to us. They are our immediate family.” 

Ivy believes Lakeside offers exceptional value for money. “Ordinary households like ours don’t usually get the chance to live in a place with amazing views like this. And we’re so happy to live somewhere without traffic lights!”