Surveying Services - The Degree of Difference

Plan ahead or lose subdivision opportunities

Published September 2018

Rules relating to subdivision are always changing -sometimes in a major way. So,if you are managing a block of rural land you should keep abreast of the rules. Too often we have people wanting to do what their neighbour did five of ten years agoand we mustdisappoint them.

Currently there are major plan changes under way in Waikato and Coromandel and minor tweaks are always on the go. In the Coromandel, landownersrecentlylost the ability to subdivide with theaveragesize of the resultantblocksbeing over20 hectares. Theyare now fighting in the Environment Court to get that ruleback.

In Waikato District, a recent announcement has openedopportunities for those in the old Franklin Council area and carried forwardexistingsubdivisionrules in the original Waikatoarea. However, don't be complacent if this offers you opportunities,as it may not last long. What we cansee, as with Coromandel, is that the final rule following Council Hearings is not what was advertised or what was requested in submissions.

There has been a huge shift towards directing lifestyle living into enclaves in the villages or on the outskirts of towns. Typically, here, very small blocks more residential in nature are created -too small for some. At the same time,other rural subdivision is being eliminated completely or limited to very large blocks. Whilst this is understood in relation to large tracts of arable land, there is a place for subdivision on less productive land -it is claimed that small blocks can have a higher productivity than some pastoral land.

By planning ahead, and taking advantage of pastrules, many of our clients have established multiple adjoining titles.This brings with it many opportunitiesto change the shape and size of these titles. Most Councils allow some form of boundary adjustment. This providesa huge advantage to some when they need to raise capital for a purchase, settle an independent family memberor dispose of a house on the farm.

I don't see this trend being reversed in the future, short of an uprising by landowners. So, my advice to everyone is to consider your options and plan aheadnow. Otherwise, if your circumstances change,and you want a smaller farm or some flexibility with your titles you will be forced to sell up and move.

If you are planning your future and wish to clarify any subdivision or boundary adjustment issues, feel free to give me a call. I am happy to discuss the situation with you to see if it is worth pursuing.

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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