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By Hannah

I'm a Director at CS Law

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Steps For A Subdivision

Hannah Wood (CS Law) and Sophie Campbell (Truebridge Associates Ltd) present a very general overview of the various steps involved in a subdivision to give an idea of the process and timeframe.

Step One – Timeframe: 3 months 

Once instructed to subdivide, the surveyor draws up a scheme plan. The planner then prepares the Planning Report. The surveyor or client gives the lawyer a heads up that a subdivision is proposed. A draft plan is produced which the lawyer and surveyor both use to check the head title.

If you are intending to sell and have an offer on the table, this is the time to let the lawyer and surveyor know. There may be special terms and conditions that need to go into the agreement.

Step Two 

The surveyor submits the scheme plan and Resource Consent application to the District Council.

Step Three

The District Council grants resource consent and sets conditions to be met by the Developer. The surveyor or client sends a copy of the Resource Consent to the lawyer to review. The surveyor and client liaise to carry out the works required in the Resource Consent.

Step Four – Timeframe: 3 months

The surveyor carries out the Land Transfer Survey and prepares the Land Transfer Dataset and submits to Council for Section 223 approval. This is also sent to the lawyer to begin preparation of documentation required to lodge for titles.

Step Five

The Council issues a Section 223 Certificate and endorses it on the Land Transfer Plan. This is now done electronically by the Council and no certificate is issued. The surveyor advises the lawyer this step is completed.

Step Six

The surveyor then lodges the Land Transfer Plan at Land Information New Zealand for approval as to survey (i.e. approval as to pegs and boundaries). This step is sometimes combined with Steps Seven-Nine for a fast track lodgement.

Step Seven – Timeframe: 3-4 months plus 4 weeks with Council

Resource conditions must now be complete so the surveyor can lodge a written application to the Council to grant a Section 224 Certificate.  This again is now signed off electronically by the Council. The surveyor will then notify the lawyer that they can now lodge for titles.

Step Eight – Timeframe: 3-6 weeks

The registered plan then goes to the lawyer to lodge for title. The client and lawyer liaise regarding any easements or covenants that need to be lodged, together with any Council consent notices.

The legal documents would include obtaining mortgagee consent if the land to be subdivided is mortgaged, and preparing and completing any easements required by Council (compulsory easements) or easements that the client has instructed the surveyor to include on the plan (voluntary easements). If there is an agreement, settlement would usually be 10 working days after issue of title so the lawyer would notify the purchasers solicitors that they intend to lodge for title shortly.

Other useful information

Government valuation

After LINZ issues the new titles, they send the data off to QV who will issue new valuation numbers to the new lots. Once this is done, this information is notified to the Council by QV who can then enter the new property into their rating data base.


Rates for the head title will continue to be charged. New titles won’t be issued rates until the new rating year commences. If you sell one of your new titles before the next rating year commences then rates are apportioned on an area basis.

Postal address

You will need to apply to Council to obtain your new postal address for your new properties. This is important to ensure a legal postal address is registered.

Standard easement terms

Most standard easements are legislated for and their standard terms are set down including how costs of maintenance and repair are contributed.