Subdividing your property

Find out what is involved when you're subdividing a property or building.

How it works

Subdivision is the process of dividing land or building into individual parcels so that each has a separate record of title.  Council is required to control the environmental effects of subdivision.  The Kaipara District Plan details the rules for subdivision within the district, which depend on what the zoning or your site is, what overlays apply and whether there are any sites, features or units (e.g. an area of significant bush) to be protected.

Types of subdivision

There are three main types of subdivision:

  • Fee simple (freehold) is the most common type of subdivision.  Separate records of title are created for each lot.
  • Unit title (strata) subdivision is when there is more than one unit on a single freehold piece of land and each of the units is owned separately - for example, an apartment building or block of flats.  An owner holds the unit title to their unit and shares ownership of common areas which are managed by a committee made up of all the owners (called a body corporate).
  • Cross-lease (flats or household unit) ownership involves an equal share in the freehold title for the entire piece of land, along with a lease over a particular flat.  New cross-lease subdivisions are very rate.

Your surveyor can advise you which type of subdivision would be best for your circumstances.

The process

We have prepared a useful guide to subdivision in the Kaipara District which includes information on the various pathways available for subdivision, and an outline of the process from start to finish.  We also have specific information for the three zones.

Talk to us early and seek advice from a surveyor or other professional who understands the process and can advise if your proposal is feasible.

What happens after I get my subdivision consent?

A granted subdivision consent alone does not give you new land titles.  There are still a number of steps to be completed before you can apply to the District Land Registrar through Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to have new records of title issued.

When you read through your subdivision consent decision you will notice that it has been granted subject to a number of conditions.  These conditions are usually broken up into two parts - those that must be completed before the Section 223 certificate may be issued, and those that must be completed before the Section 224(c) certificate may be issued.

The Section 223 conditions and engineering plans relate to the preparation of an accurate subdivision scheme plan and associated legal documents such as easements or land covenants that are endorsed on the survey plan.
The Section 224(c) conditions on the other hand, predominantly relate to the completion of physical works on the site, such as the connection to services, or the construction of access routes, legal documents and contributions.


Section 223 Certification

Once subdivision consent is issued an applicant has up to five (5) years (unless you have applied for, and been granted, longer) to lodge a survey plan with us.  This plan is a detailed plan prepared by a registered surveyor showing the boundaries, areas and if relevant, any easements and covenants that need to be prepared.

If the plan is in accordance with what was approved by us as part of the subdivision consent then a Section 223 certificate approval will be signed and all s223 conditions complied with.  This lodgement is the responsibility of you / your surveyor and you should allow a minimum of 10 working days for Council to process a s223 certification application.  Once this has been signed, the plan may then be lodged with LINZ for approval. 

Section 224 Certification

An applicant has a further three years from the date of signing of the s223 certificate to obtain titles. A Section 224(c) certificate is a final approval from us that all conditions of the subdivision consent have been complied with and titles can be issued.

A formal application for s224(c) certification needs to be made once all works required as part of the subdivision have been completed.  The processing of a s224(c) certificate requires Council officers and engineers to undertake a site inspection/s, review supporting documentation, confirm that the relevant development and financial contributions have been paid, and undertake a check of each condition of Resource Consent.  You should allow a minimum of 15 working days for processing of a 224(c) certification application.

Once we are satisfied that all conditions of subdivision consent have been complied with then the s224(c) certificates will be signed. You / your surveyor must then lodge this certificate with LINZ to allow separate titles for the newly created lots to be issued.

The s224(c) certificate must be lodged with LINZ prior to the lapsing of s223 approval (three years from the date of signing); otherwise your subdivision consent will lapse.