Subdivision limited to 40ha blocks in Waikato

Your land surveyed
with Brent Trail
Surveying Services Ltd

 As expected, Waikato Regional Council has made a submission to the Waikato District Plan requesting lifestyle blocks can only be subdivided from titles that exceed 40ha in size. This, in addition to the title needing to predate December 6, 1997, in most cases. This was always going to happen, as regional council had appealed the district council’s decision on the last plan change and clearly weren’t going to give up.

Council advised that further submissions in support or opposition to the original submissions were to be received by May 27. However, it seems there’s been mistakes in processing some – nearly 1000 submissions with close to 10,000 submission points – and they’re now to advertise a new closing date, once issues have been corrected. This is your last chance to be heard on the proposed new subdivision rules being written to accommodate the merging of part of Franklin District with the Waikato.

Once the rules are ratified through the public submission process, Franklin owners could have the same opportunity as their peers situated within the original Waikato District area – but only if they haven’t subdivided within about the last 22 years. However, with the minimum size being challenged by WRC, it is more than likely they will miss the opportunity to subdivide a lifestyle block off a 20ha block as has been possible in the ‘old Waikato’ for many years. 

Under the general subdivision rule proposed, a lifestyle lot of about 1ha can be cut off many older large titles. If you’re located in the old Waikato area you’ll still be eligible to apply to subdivide a property more than 20ha in size, but you’d need to act very soon. Should the regional council’s proposal be adopted, which is highly likely, your title size will need to be 40ha to be eligible.

With rural subdivision becoming harder and harder, much future subdivision will come from protection of ecological features such as wetland, stream margins and native bush. If you have these features on your land you may qualify for subdivision.

Boundary adjustments between neighbours, and adjustments in size and location of multiple adjoining titles, can be applied for along with subdivisions that protect qualifying ecological features. 

A major driver for these rule changes is protection of quality production land, which is undoubtedly a great goal.  However, there’s a genuine desire in this country for a rural address away from the pressures of urban life, and there are pockets of land around far inferior to horticultural land surrounding Pukekohe that we see being steadily lost. 

Don’t sit back if you believe you have an opportunity to restructure your titles or create an additional title for yourself, family or indeed for sale. To find out what opportunities might potentially be lost or gained through this process, feel free to give me a call and discuss your situation without delay.

Brent Trail, managing director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Waikato, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty. For further information call 0800 268632 or email:


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