Subdivision means to divide land or buildings into separate parts, each with a separate certificate of title.

A resource consent (known as a subdivision consent) is required for all types of subdivisionSubdivision consent is required to ensure that:

  • any adverse effects that may arise from the subdivision are identified and appropriately dealt with
  • all works and services are carried out and installed in terms of Council’s Infrastructure Design Standard
  • the new allotments are suitable for the intended purpose.

Subdivision rules and requirements

The rules and requirements for subdivision are contained in several documents:

The zoning of the land determines which particular rule/s apply. These may be:

  • Allotment size and dimensions
  • Property access
  • Esplanade reserves or strips along the banks of a waterway
  • Natural hazards
  • Water supply
  • Stormwater control and disposal
  • Sanitary sewer disposal
  • Electrical energy supply
  • Telecommunications service
  • Provision of land for recreation reserve/open space
  • Easements
  • Building locations
  • Preservation of vegetation/landscape.

Applications must include a plan (sometimes called the scheme plan) showing all the relevant information. View typical application plan [PDF, 245 KB].

The subdivision process

The key steps in the subdivision of land are outlined in this diagram and information sheet:

Because of the number of steps involved, it can take some time to complete the process. The simplest of subdivisions can take three to four months to complete while the more complicated or larger subdivision can take a lot longer. Although there are some statutory time periods associated with the subdivision process, the majority of time taken to complete a subdivision rests entirely with the applicant.

While it is possible to undertake some of the subdivision processes yourself there are a number of aspects that will require you to use the services of consultants, such as a land surveyor, planning consultant, engineer or lawyer. If you are considering subdividing, we recommend you contact a consultant at an early stage to find out what subdivision rules apply to your property, and the information that will need to be provided with your application.


Every subdivision is different so it is not possible to give a general cost estimate. Costs can arise from:

  • An initial feasibility study
  • Council application fees
  • Provision for sewage and stormwater drainage, water supply, electric power and telecommunication services
  • Formation of access
  • Development contributions payable to Council
  • Professional fees for a land surveyor, planning consultant, lawyer, engineer, etc.
  • Land Information New Zealand fees.

The above list is not exhaustive. It is recommended you seek professional advice and get an estimate of the likely costs from someone experienced in the subdivision process before you start the project.