How do I know if I can subdivide

Subdivision of your property is controlled by the rules in the District or City Plan. The rules state how and when properties can be subdivided and the standards that need to be met for those subdivisions. The rules will vary for each local authority and different rules will apply for residential, business and rural areas. You can view these rules by opening the website of the relevant local authority which will give you understanding of the rules. (view Council’s rules). However these rules are often complex, cross reference other parts of the plan and are discretionary in nature. Unless you are familar with the RMA and the structure of District and City Plans, these documents can be difficult to understand and interpret. They are certainly not written with Joe Citizen in mind.

Our Surveyors in Pukekohe and Auckland spend a lot of their office time reading and interpreting District Plans, providing advice to clients, and preparing subdivision applications. A good option is to give us a call, as we are familar with all the structure of District and City plans and can help with the interpretation of these documents and the relevant rules and will provide you with advice on whether you will be able to subdivide your property.

The Resource Management Act  (RMA) provides for the contents of District, City and Regional Plans. The  Act defines a subdivision under S218. In general terms it is the splitting up of a parcel of land.

This may occur by way of:

  • The issue of a separate title for part of that land.
  • By a lease for more than 35 years for part of a parcel of land.
  • By a Company lease or Crosslease for part of that land, or
  • By a Unit plan over part of that land.

Most people understand a subdivision as the creation of a new parcel of land with it’s own certificate of title, but it does include any of the four methods above. A number of subdivisions do not result in the creation of additional titles, but are simply an adjustments or relocations of existing titles.

Any subdivision requires the consent of the local council, no matter how minor, and this is achieved by submitting an application for subdivision consent to the Council.

We have published a pamphlet called “Subdivision - understanding the process”. This explains in more details how Birch Surveyors Ltd manage the subdivision process for you to ensure that the best possible consent is obtained, and assists with explaining some of the terms commonly used in the subdivision process. You can read about the process by clicking on our logo.