Watch: Check out the palatial Whitianga Waterways project that features NZ's largest man-made island

With summer fast approaching, one man has been hard at work developing the country's biggest residential canal on the Whitianga Waterways.

Developers plan to make holidaying on a canal available to thousands. Source: Seven Sharp

Leigh Hopper has been working on the project for 17 years with the same team responsible for the construction of waterways at Pauanui on the Coromandel Peninsula.

When finished it's hoped the canal will be open to thousands of holiday-makers to enjoy.

Mr Hopper's ambitious plans also include the country's biggest man-made island, featuring 109 sections over 11 hectares.

When asked how many years it will take before the project is fully finished Mr Hopper told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp "20 to go probably".