Surveying Services - The Degree of Difference

New rules coming for Waipa

Published July 2012

Recently the proposed subdivision rules were formally notified by Waipa District Council as part of their Proposed District Plan. Timing is important if you want to utilise the existing rules.

This change has been discussed for some years now, but now that the formal notification has been made there will be a steady transition to the new rule book. Submissions can now be made by any member of the public or organisation up until July 27 at 5pm. If you want to have any influence in how you are allowed to develop your property in the future you should make a submission and be involved in the process from the outset - once the rules are set in concrete there will be no sense complaining. A big issue with these proposed rules is likely to be that more applications will become 'discretionary', meaning that Council has complete discretion to either approve or turn them down. This process also demands a more rigorous application with associated costs, alongside that increased risk.

Currently in Waipa you can subdivide down to an average of 25ha and also many can make application for a 'long association' subdivision if they have been associated with the title for over 14 years. You can also rearrange large lots into smaller lifestyle lots with a larger balance lot, as long as you can average over 25ha. This is all going to change when these proposed rules have gone through the 'consultation' process. You could perhaps expect some minor changes to the proposed rules, but the fact is - it's going to become much more difficult to subdivide when any of the proposed lots are less than 40 hectares.

Most future rural subdivision will have to be achieved through the protection of significant ecological, landscape and view-shaft features. Although there are many of these throughout the area, if they are not on your property you miss out. Council have also stated that they want rural subdivisions to be limited to no more than 50 lots per year and will look at changing the rules if too many subdivisions are being carried out. Based on recent years, there will be more lots than that and I believe we can expect more changes as Council struggle to direct most development into towns.

Over the next few months you can still make application for subdivision under the existing rules so it's time to sort out any plans that you have for subdivision. If you have any such plans or you need any assistance with a submission don't hesitate to call me and discuss the situation.

By Brent Trail Managing Director

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 07 838 1571 or email

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