|Your land surveyed
with Brent Trail
Surveying Services Ltd
When the National Policy Statement for high-quality soils came into effect, we were not surprised when some councils overreacted to it.
Even though, with the last full review of the subdivision rules, Matamata Piako District, Hauraki District and other councils took into account the quality of soils when writing the rules.
We are also not surprised that, following challenges against one council and subsequent legal advice, Matamata Piako District Council has now reverted to accepting applications based on the existing rules. This follows a period of giving preference to the National Policy Statement over their current rules.
This is the rollercoaster that we ride as council subdivision rules are continually updated, and the effects are worsened by their reactions to other new legislation, as we have recently witnessed.
Now that we have a change in government, the proposed new legislation to replace the Resource Management Act could be repealed quickly.
However, don’t be complacent, there certainly will be change. We hope this change will be positive. But, even with good intentions, change will always bring challenges, new learnings and nervousness from Councils. Even under the current regime, there will be regular reviews of District Plan Subdivision Rules, continually making the subdivision process harder.
We have always promoted rural subdivisions as an estate planning and risk management process for landowners. Put simply, the more titles that you have on your farm, the more flexibility you have if the economy hits a bump or you require capital to develop your land or business.
Given the uncertain legislative future, it is increasingly important to plan ahead. Making the most of your land by obtaining additional titles, as and when the rules allow it, is a legitimate process used by many a landowner over the years to secure opportunities for themselves and future generations. Being able to orchestrate a handover of part of the farm to family members, who might not be resourced to take over the whole farm, is a great position to be in. If you are getting close to handing over the whole farm, then an option to retain a smaller portion as a retirement block or just to ‘keep your hand in’ could be a possibility.
If you have contemplated subdivision to either have more control over your future or to wack something off the mortgage, you should engage a specialist subdivision company early to avoid disappointment. They can then team you up with a project manager, experienced with the local rules - an essential aid to navigating the complexities of subdivision. If you would like to explore your options, we are happy to give you the time to discuss the full potential of your land so feel free to give us a call and discuss your situation.