In this section

The subdivision of land always requires a resource consent, even if it is only a boundary adjustment and no additional lots are created.

We have created a Subdivision Flow Diagram [PDF, 346 KB] for a view of the process.

Three Stages of Subdivision Approval

There are three stages of subdivision approval:

  1. Applying for Subdivision Consent - applicant applies for subdivision consent and if approved, this lasts for 5 years
  2. Section 223 approval - applicant applies for a s223 approval, which approves the title plan, showing the new boundaries.
  3. Section 224 approval - the applicant applies for a s224 approval which confirms that all of the physical works to form the subdivision have been completed and there are no outstanding conditions.

Engage a Surveyor

If you are considering undertaking a subdivision you will need to speak to a surveyor.

You will need a surveyor to create the final legal plans. Engaging the surveyor from the outset can be helpful, and if necessary they can act as your agent to take you through the subdivision consent process.

Depending on the size of the subdivision, you and your surveyor may wish to have a meeting with planning and assets staff at the Council. The Duty Planner will be able to advise you if this would help, and can arrange the meeting for you.

Steps to creating a Subdivision

1. Discuss with the Duty Planner

If you are considering creating a subdivision, check whether the District Plan rules allow your property to be subdivided.

In townships, the residential Living Zone rules are in Chapter C12 and the Business Zone rules are in Chapter C24.

In Rural Zones the subdivision rules are in Chapter C10.

2. Get Professional Advice

At this stage, we would highly recommend that you engage a consultant planner or surveyor.

An application and scheme plan need to be submitted showing the boundaries of the existing site and the proposed new lots.

The plan will need to show the size and location of the new lots, the location of any current buildings, roads and significant natural areas (including springs, streams, water races, reserves and easements) as well as any other information that we may require to assess the effect of the subdivision on the environment.

3. Draft

You may wish to submit a draft subdivision plan, or bring one to discuss with the Duty Planner prior to submitting your subdivision application. This may save you time and cost when you lodge your application.

4. Assessment of Environmental Effects

You will need to include an Assessment of the Environmental Effects with your application. This information will depend on the type of subdivision and where it is located.

The assessment would identify the potential effects on the environment. If there is likely to be any adverse effects, the assessment would state the ways that these can be either avoided, mitigated or remedied.

5. Assessing your application

A planner will assess your application. This will involve a site inspection and checking the that the application is in line with the District Plan requirements for your particular zone. Subdivisions that comply will be processed on a non-notified basis and a decision will be made within 20 working days.

We will most likely impose conditions on the consent that you will need to comply with. There should be no surprises, as we will have already discussed these things with you prior to lodging the consent.

A resource consent is valid for five years from the date of issue.

Survey Plans

Once the subdivision application is approved, the surveyor will need to submit a survey plan showing the new boundaries for approval. (s223 RMA).

Once the survey plan is approved, the surveyor will send the plan to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for confirmation.


In order for LINZ to issue new titles, we will need to issue a completion certificate (s224 RMA) which confirms that all conditions of the resource consent have been met, including payment of development contributions.

Your solicitor will then order new titles by lodging an application with LINZ.


There are costs involved with a subdivision, and Council's fees are a minor part of the overall subdivision cost.

There will be costs incurred by your surveyor and consulting planner, as well as development contributions.

Development Contributions

New development places additional demand on services like roading, reserves and water infrastructure (freshwater, wastewater and stormwater).

Development contributions are intended to cover the cost of new infrastructure so that the ratepayer isn't burdened with the cost of new development.

The amount due will vary according to the location and circumstances of the subdivision.

Development Contributions are payable for each lot created, in line with the Development Contributions Policy

We have provided this information as a general guide. It should not be seen as specific advice for your plans.  Before you begin, please talk to the Duty Planner, either at the Planning Department in Rolleston or by phone (03) 347-2868, or email us at