In this section

Guidelines to applying to subdivide a property

The subdivision of land always requires a resource consent, even if it is only a boundary adjustment and no additional lots are created. We are providing the information below 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 0800 SELWYN, or email us at

The four Stages of subdivision approval

There are four main stages of subdivision approval:

  1. Applying for Subdivision Consent - applicant applies for subdivision consent and if approved, this lasts for five years
  2. Section 223 approval - applicant applies for a s223 approval, which approves the title plan, showing the new property boundaries.
  3. Infrastructure design approval - applicant submits their design plans for approval using the Engineering Approval Data check-list  [PDF, 131 KB].
  4. Section 224 approval - applicant applies for a s224 approval which confirms that all of the infrastructure works to form the subdivision have been completed as per consent conditions.

Please refer to this Subdivision Flow Diagram [PDF, 9 KB] for a view of the whole process.

Stage 1: Applying for Subdivision Consent

1. Check the District plan rules

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

2. Engage a surveyor

  • If you are considering undertaking a subdivision you will need to speak to 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.
  • 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. Get advice on your draft plans from our Duty Planner

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. Email to book an appointment with us.

4. Assess the 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. Applying for a Resource Consent

Ensure your application is prepared using the correct application form. You will also need to include plans, a certificate of title and an assessment of environmental effects.

6. Processing your application

  • A planner will assess your application. This will involve a site inspection and checking 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.

Stage 2: Section 223 approval

  • 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.
  • From the date that the survey plan is signed, you have a further three years to fulfil any other conditions of the resource consent and pay any development contributions and lodge the s224 certificate with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) so that new certificates of title can be issued.

Stage 3: Engineering design approval

Development work must be undertaken to comply with conditions of consent and may include engineering works to form right of ways and entrances; services installation and connections for water, wastewater, stormwater, power and telephone.

Stage 4: Section 224 approval

1. Requesting required inspections

  • Our Development Engineers must be informed when work on the development commences.
  • Inspections notices shall be advised in writing via email to at least two working days prior to the inspections be required.
  • Developers must mitigate the effects of their building project on public infrastructure by obtaining the required authorisations from Council throughout the building process or requiring that their contractors obtain these authorisations on their behalf.

2.  Practical completion

  • A Producer Statement specifying that all work had been carried out to the approved plans and specification is required and As builts Check Sheet  [PDF, 96 KB] shall be supplied no later than the time of s224 application.
  • Once Council is satisfied that all the conditions of consent have been fulfilled, we will issue a completion certificate pursuant to s224 of the RMA.

3. Gaining final acceptance of vested assets

  • The defects liability period on vested assets (one to two year depending of the type of vested assets) shall commence from the date of issue of the s224 Certificate.
  • A joint inspection is required within one month of the expiration of any defects liability period to determine acceptability of the works to Council.

Please direct any correspondence to our Development Engineering team via email:

New titles

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 through 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, our development engineering team and 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