Opportunities and Challenges for Peri-Urban Recreation in New Zealand’s Fastest Growing Cities Research Completed


Opportunities and Challenges for Peri-Urban Recreation in New Zealand’s Fastest Growing Cities

Lead Author

Adrian Field , Melody Oliver, Hamish Mackie, Kim Arcus, Linden Dale-Gandar, Grant Hanham


Synergia Ltd, Mackie Research and Consulting Ltd

Publication Year



Synergia Ltd


Dr Adrian Field; tel 021 529 805 or email adrian.field@synergia.co.nz


As New Zealand’s urban population has grown, so too has the number of people living in the transition zone between rural and urban. These ‘peri-urban’ areas are often key sites of competing demands between recreation and other land uses, and also between different types of recreation. This research explores the drivers and experiences of outdoor recreation in peri-urban areas in New Zealand’s three fastest-growing cities: Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. The research provides insights on two areas of exploration:

  • Are peri-urban areas a potential area of significant growth in demand and supply of outdoor recreation within the context of changing demographic trends and participation preferences?
  • How do opportunities for outdoor recreation in peri-urban areas relate to those in areas further away from towns and cities?

The research draws on multiple research approaches to understand challenges and opportunities for peri-urban recreation:

  • Demographic analysis of projected population changes in the cities and four case study areas, alongside analysis of 2007/08 Active New Zealand Survey data.
  • Online survey of people from local government, regional sports trusts, and other organisations (36 respondents in total).
  • Qualitative interviews with 15 recreation planners from councils and regional sports trusts.
  • Qualitative interviews and focus groups with 30 parents/caregivers of children under 16 years from four case study areas: Beachlands-Maraetai and Waitakere Village-Taupaki in Auckland; Rototuna in Hamilton; and Bethlehem in Tauranga.


Keywords: Peri-urban, recreation, population change, urban development, planning, qualitative research, demographic trends, outdoor recreation


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August 13, 2013

Last Modified

August 14, 2013

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