Live here

Noho mai ki konei

Ko Tēnei Whenua, Tōku Kāinga - This land, my home.

Horowhenua offers a relaxed lifestyle with multiple beaches, forest parks and rivers all within a 20-minute drive. 

It has the sunniest and warmest climate on the west coast of the lower North Island. Having experienced low growth for a generation, leaving property prices relatively low by national standards, over the last decade, Horowhenua quickly became an affordable option for new residents, investors and developers.  Its central location and connectivity means 760,000 people will live within an hour’s drive of Horowhenua.  Known as the North Island’s vegetable bowl, the district is home to a unique microcosm, which gives rise to highly fertile and versatile land and as a result a thriving food production industry. Locals will tell you though, that it’s the ease of lifestyle and the sense of community that makes Horowhenua such a great place to live. 

Median House Price

Median prices in Manawatu/Whanganui decreased by 7.0% year-on-year to $530,000. “First-home buyers and owner-occupiers continue to be the most active buyer group in the region. Vendors are adjusting their price expectations according to the market. Two factors have led to rising open-home attendance – new property listings and properties where the price has been adjusted. Auction rooms have seen an ongoing increase in activity. Overall sales counts remain low as the market remains challenging, with low listings, interest rates, the current economic situation and anticipation of the election having influenced buyer and seller decisions. Most groups have adopted a wait-and-see attitude.”

Jen Baird, REINZ CEO

Source: REINZ Property Report September 2023

Horowhenua District


in September 2023

Up 4.2% on September 2022

Horowhenua offers a balanced lifestyle.  With changes in the way Kiwi work, it is now the norm for many to enjoy a balance of working from home and in the office.  This means now more than ever, a career either in Horowhenua or its neighbouring regions, Greater Wellington and Manawatū/Whanganui, is not only accessible but an option many have embraced.

Locals joke that it takes five minutes to get anywhere which is true for most commutes, unless going a little further afield. If you’re raising a family, the wide open spaces, beaches, rivers, parks, reserves and many local sports and community groups, make it easier for kids to be kids and for parents to feel a greater sense of balance. Nestled between the Tararua Range and the Tasman Sea, Horowhenua is home to a range of adventure activities. Whether you enjoy a stroll on the beach or prefer the thrill of mountain biking down a mountain, there is something for everyone.

From Iceland to Levin: A love story.

How one Icelander fell in love with a local man and a humble kiwi town in one short visit.

Nina didn’t expect a short visit to a humble kiwi town to change the trajectory of her life.

Icelander Nina met Fergus while visiting Levin in 2010. A friend she’d met as a teenager in Italy invited her to stay for three months and during her short stay, Nina fell in love with the Levin local. Fergus followed her across the globe to her homeland and during their time in the Nordic country, they welcomed two children into the family. With fond memories of the friendly kiwi town, they chose to return to Levin - the ideal place to raise their family.


The community spirited family were drawn to Fergus’ existing social connections in Levin, being close to family and the friendly locals. The school and preschool options, affordable sports and music options for their tamariki were attractive, alongside the wealth of outdoor activities available.

Nina says, “You can do so much on a weekend in Horowhenua for free, with plenty of options like going to the forest, beach, river, hikes in the bush or to the many parks around the area. The climate is temperate, it’s not too cold in winter and not too hot in summer!”

The kids’ hobbies also keep the family busy. Their children have attended swim lessons at Levin Aquatic Centre from a young age; an important skill to have being so close to large bodies of water. Their eldest child takes keyboard lessons and plays rugby for Levin Athletic Junior Rugby, and cricket for Levin Old Boys.

Community at the heart of family and work life

Fergus and Nina are both self-employed and run their own businesses; Fergus as a plumber and Nina as a home organiser. They both love helping people in the community and that is the foundation of their work. What Nina really loves about working in Levin is the support from the community, and the ease of whipping around town going from job to job without being stuck in endless traffic jams. It’s true they could work elsewhere, but with people at the centre of their careers, it helps that in Levin "everyone knows everyone".


On the weekends they often go to Foxton Beach, work on projects, be in nature, go fishing, walking, swimming, or play at the Levin Adventure Park, visit family and friends or go out for a meal. Taper is a firm favourite, with pies from Sponge Kitchen and coffee from Obsess Café in New World favoured by the parents. The kids love going to Columbus café at Mitre 10; it has special cookies and an indoor playground – the perfect outing on a rainy winters morning.

Celebrating special occasions are important to the family

For birthdays, they’ll have a party with friends and family, for Matariki they’ll celebrate with the school and community, but they also celebrate at home with special food and decorations. They have special decorations for every holiday and have a family tradition of setting up a ‘Celebration Circle’ - a wooden ring with little wooden decors that represent the holiday/season/the birthday kid. Nina makes them herself and loves changing it out throughout the seasons/holidays. For Halloween, they drive around the neighbourhood trick-or-treating, visiting the spooky houses decorated by festive locals. They blend two cultures and traditions to celebrate Christmas, with family as a centre of it; a reflection on how they live their lives in Horowhenua.

Generations of Horowhenua history

Find out why five generations of Makitanara’s have lived in, and loved Horowhenua.

Married for 25 years, Jared and Auta Makitanara have lived in the Horowhenua for most of their lives. The family has strong roots in the district, with Jared’s great-grandparents settling in Hokio Beach - where the Makitanara Whanau homestead still stands. After a short stint away from the area, Jared and Auta returned to Horowhenua to raise their five children and four cats in Foxton. 


Actively embracing sport and connection in the district

Sports fanatics, Jared and Auta passed down their love of sport and physical activity to their children. Embracing opportunities through kura and representative teams, each of their five kids have been actively involved in different sports and clubs throughout the district and wider region.

Heavily involved in local sports, whether playing, coaching or supporting, the Makitanara’s have an indoor netball team in the local competition and are all avid basketball fans. The couple have coached basketball, netball, rugby and softball teams - just to name a few. Throughout the rugby season, you can find Jared and Auta with their tribe of kitchen hands in the canteen at the Foxton Rugby Club cooking up a storm for the players and supporters.

A close family, the Makitanara’s love to spend time together whenever their busy schedules allow. Two family members work together at Alliance, and two work together at Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō. Working together means being able to commute together. The short drive to and from work provides time to connect and discuss their day. The family enjoys the accessibility of the facilities in Horowhenua, and appreciate the proximity to Wellington, where one of the children works. 

Feeding the team

Sharing a meal and running around are a big part of their family time, so having open spaces and parks where we can do both is ideal. Summertime is the family’s favourite time of year as they explore different beaches and parks around Horowhenua, in particular Foxton beach and the Adventure Park.

Being a large family, the Makitanara’s are mindful of best value and quality food when eating out. Focal Point is a favourite for dinner and a movie, ZenArez’s is a lunchtime favourite, and Raewyn’s big Breakfast is also a hit, alongside Colly Wah’s (The Manawatu Café). 

Jared says, “Living in the Horowhenua gives us everything we need. It is virtually impossible to go anywhere without running into someone you know, whether it be family, friends or people you met once in passing. It makes you feel a part of a wider family or community, which gives you a sense of security and also the confidence to push forward.
We are already very happy with our decision to settle in the Horowhenua and have embraced the opportunity to work in our community for our Whanau.” 

Culture shock to total comfort

‘The best decision we’ve ever made’
How a move across the globe led to home

A world away from their homeland India, the Patel family are proudly calling Horowhenua home.

Originally, from Surat, a city in the western Indian state of Gujarat; Chirag came to New Zealand in 2006. His wife Jinal followed in 2007 with their first child, Arya, who was only 6 months old at the time.

At first, the young family felt like they had been ‘dropped in the deep end’ with a different culture. Once the initial culture shock and language difficulties wore off, they quickly realised it was the best decision they could’ve made.

Chirag says, “Everything is so handy. It’s an easy walk to town, the swimming pools and the Adventure Park; it’s all just around the corner from each other. Living here we now have a happier life, we’re more relaxed and we have more time and energy. Levin has become our home, for our whole family. With all the puzzle pieces fitting together, it felt like our destiny was to be living in Levin.”The family has embraced the Horowhenua way of life, enjoying the slower pace and immersing their growing family in as many new experiences as they can. Less traffic is one major change the family is enjoying as they go from one activity to the next.

Arya and Dev enjoy karate, dance classes, swimming, regular visits to Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō and the free school holiday programmes the community centre hosts. As a family, they like to watch movies at Focal Point, eat at The George Cafe and swim at Gladstone River during the summer months.


Finding family a world away

Holidays are a good chance to connect with other members of the Horowhenua Indian Community. At Christmas, the Patel’s enjoy a BBQ at the Gladstone Reserve with other Indian families.

Since coming to New Zealand, they have embraced Christmas, celebrating alongside the wider community at local events and decorating their house with festive trimmings.

However, true to their roots, it’s Diwali that is their biggest celebration of each year. This 5-day festival of light is when they make lots of food including snacks and sweets and join in local celebrations. For birthdays, they meet with the family and friends they’ve made in their new hometown and enjoy their new lives in the district at the bottom of the world they are now proud to call home.