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Subdividing your propertyNgā wāwāhanga

There is a great deal to think about when considering whether to subdivide your property. It is a lengthy process involving a number of parties. Before making your final decision consider all the steps required set out on this page and take a look at Council's Best Practice Design Guide in the 'related documents' section on this page.

The process of subdivision is lengthy and involves a number of parties including the applicant, a licenced cadastral surveyor; Council, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and solicitors. It can also require working with other parties such as NZ Transport Agency (when a site is accessed from a state highway) and Hawke's Bay Regional Council, and consultation with affected people, such as neighbours.

Each party has a specific role and as a general guide the process could take up to six months. This is particularly important to bear in mind so you can plan, for example, for interest rate changes, holding costs and the need for a Certificate of Title to be issued before you might be able to secure mortgages or a sale.

You will need to follow the process below when considering subdividing your land:

Subdivision Process

Licensed cadastral surveyor

You should employ a licensed cadastral surveyor to undertake the subdivision of your property. The surveyor will assist you to establish:

  • Whether your land or buildings are suitable for subdivision
  • The best type of subdivision to meet your circumstances
  • The relevant District Plan rules concerning subdivision
  • The consultation required with those parties who may potentially be adversely affected (for example neighbours, service authorities, community groups etc)
  • The information that must be submitted with a subdivision consent application
  • What other consents may be required
  • The type of conditions that could be imposed by Hastings District Council on any consent granted
  • The likely total cost to complete a subdivision.

Suitability of land or buildings for subdivision

In some situations, land or buildings may be unsuitable for subdivision. For example, the land may be subject to slippage, erosion, poor conditions for foundations, flooding, or may be close to an earthquake fault line.

In these situations extensive investigation and site works may be required to make the site suitable for subdivision. This type of work can add considerably to the final cost of the subdivision. In some instances these costs can be recovered by the value of the new allotment created. In other cases they can make the profitability of the subdivision marginal.

We recommend that the first step you take is to consult a professional to ascertain whether there are any such concerns with your property.

Conditions of consent

Council usually imposes conditions on any subdivision consent granted.  These conditions are to avoid, remedy or mitigate any potential adverse effects on your site, the surrounding properties, and the wider environment.  For example, if there are earthworks involved in a development, conditions may be imposed about the timing of the works, control of stormwater and sediment, and stabilisation of the affected areas such as planting, to mitigate the potential adverse effects. For more information see the Earthworks page.

Other conditions will ensure that the completed project will function properly.  There will normally be requirements regarding access and the way this is constructed, and a requirement that all services (including water, sewage, and stormwater) are supplied for the new allotments. The work required by these conditions must be completed prior to the issue of the title and the sale of the property to a new owner.

In addition, Council requires a development contribution for each new household unit or allotment created. The fee contributes to the upgrading of roads, drainage and water networks to accommodate the new properties created by the subdivision.

If a land use consent is also granted, there may be specific conditions associated with that consent.

Objecting or lodging an appeal

If the subdivision and or land use consent application(s) was processed on a non-notified basis, the applicant can lodge an objection with Council on the decision or any condition(s) of the consent.

If the application was notified, the applicant or any submitter may lodge an appeal to the Environment Court over the decision or condition(s) of the consent.

Subdivision consent conditions compliance and land transfer approval 

Once the Council has granted subdivision consent and any objections and appeals have been resolved, the surveyor will carry out the land transfer survey. The surveyor will accurately measure the land and place pegs to define the new boundaries.  The conditions of consent also have to be have been complied with. This may require you to arrange for various works to be completed on the site/s.

When the conditions have been completed and the surveyor has prepared the land transfer plan, the surveyor will submit the plan to Council to be certified as being in accordance with the subdivision consent.

Council will inspect the land being subdivided to ensure the conditions have been satisfactorily completed. If the Council is satisfied, two certificates will be issued and the surveyor notified:

  1. 223 for approval of the final land transfer plan; and
  2. 224(c) for certification that all the conditions of consent have been completed. Please note the 224(c) certificate can be issued in conjunction with the 223 or after.

Lodging land transfer plans and survey documents

The surveyor lodges the survey plan and various related documents with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for checking.

Once LINZ is satisfied the plan is correct it is “approved as to survey”.

Issuing of Certificate of Title

Before a certificate of title can be issued for the new allotments, LINZ will require your solicitor to arrange for various legal actions to take place including the discharge of mortgages and the preparation of new easement documents that may relate to the new allotments, and the ordering the new Certificates of Title. Once these matters have been completed, the new certificates will be issued.


To discuss these matters further email the duty planner or phone Council.


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