Subdivision is the process of dividing a legal parcel of land into one or more further parcels, or changing an existing boundary location. This can be done either in association with changes in land use, or to simply change the boundaries or ownership of existing land uses.

Typical Subdivision Of Land Process

Subdividing or developing land normally involves inputs from many different professionals such as Surveyors, Civil and Geotechnical Engineers as well as other disciplines who may need to address specific issues.

Before deciding to subdivide property, it is important to appreciate the length of time involved in the process. Unfortunately, the length of time will vary depending on the complexity of your project. However, a typical time frame for subdivision without building a dwelling is 6 – 8 months.

To move forward with subdivision project, your property you must first meet the requirements of the Council’s District Plan. These include various planning controls and development standards such as provision of suitable building platforms, minimum lot sizes, building height in relation to boundary, private open space, vehicle access, parking and manoeuvring/turning area. These requirements do vary according to the zoning of your property. You must also show that adequate provision can be provided for utility servicing to all the lots created. This includes provision for disposal of waste water, storm water and supply of power, telephone and water.

Design & Build Builders


The three most common forms of subdivision are:

• Fee simple
• Unit title
• Cross-lease

You will also need to obtain the required resource consents from Council before any subdivision work starts on the property you own. For subdivision/ land development projects, the following consents are usually required:

• Land use consent
• Subdivision consent
• Building consent


Feasibility – Prior to commencing any subdivision it is essential to assess whether a proposed subdivision is possible in terms of the District Plan requirements and feasible in terms of return on investment.

• Drainage design allow $2500
• Flood report allow $1500
• Subdivision design/reports allow $8000
• Retaining/driveway design allow $4000

Topographical Survey / Scheme Plan – This is a survey of the ground levels and significant features on a site. From this field information, a plan is produced showing such things as ground levels, contours, buildings, services, legal boundaries, trees and any other features relevant to the future development of the site. A preliminary Geotech report costs around $3500 and you should allocate around $2500 for a site survey. This information is also used for any engineering design required and the plan forms the basis of the scheme plan showing the proposed subdivision.

Resource Consent Application & Issue of Consent – The amount of information that needs to be in a consent application varies according to the scale and complexity of the proposed development. Generally, an application will detail what you are proposing to do and the effects on the environment.

Section 223/224(c) Approval from Council – A section 223 certificate is issued by Council to certify that the new Title Plan conforms to the subdivision consent. A Section 224(c) certificate is issued to certify that all of the conditions of the subdivision consent have been completed to the satisfaction of Council. Both of these certificates need to be issued before a solicitor can obtain new certificates of title.

Land Transfer Survey & Lodge for Survey Approval with Land Information NZ – This involves investigating old survey plans and information and performing various calculations to define the existing and new boundary positions. These boundary positions are marked (usually with boundary pegs) on site, and a new Title Plan is prepared. The new Title Plan, along with other reports, plans and calculations form the Cadastral Survey Data-set which is lodged with the government agency, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).


This is a frequently asked question. Most resource consents can be processed without being publicly notified, in which case Council is required to complete the processing within 20 working days. Publicly notified applications have longer timeframes, with the processing time varying depending on the complexity of the application. You should budget $4000 for subdivision Council fees.

The length of time to gain consents can be minimised if the consent application is prepared by people with experience in both the consents process and with council requirements such as Auckland based ‘Subdivision Solutions’.


One thing to consider is that there may be neighbours that are affected by your subdivision. If there are persons or property that may be assessed as being adversely affected by the subdivision proposal, their written approval will be required before the application is lodged with the Council. Additionally, if any work is to be undertaken on adjoining landowner’s property, such as connections to existing drainage lines, a right of entry approval is required from landowner.


Once your subdivision or land-use consent is granted, you have a specific time frame within which to build or establish what has been approved. A subdivision or land-use consent typically lapses five years after the date on which it was granted, unless you have given effect to your consent.

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