Danielle Allen-Sutton
Published on
Are you considering undertaking a subdivision or land development?

This could be a boundary adjustment between neighbouring properties, creating an additional lot on your existing property to sell off, or undertaking a medium to large scale development.

It can be an overwhelming process and there are many parties involved in any subdivision, including surveyors, local and regional council, lawyers, banks and third-party service providers. In this article we set out the key steps.

1. Concept and planning – first seek advice from and engage a surveyor to:
a. Undertake an initial evaluation of the land and the planning rules that apply.

b. Produce draft topographical surveys.

c. Develop a scheme plan.
2. Appling for resource consent – this is a specialised process and typically your surveyor would normally prepare and submit the application.

3. Resource Consent granted by Council - the consent will stipulate any requirements as conditions that must be complied with before Council will issue the final certificate.

Possible conditions could include (but be not limited to): earthworks or additional services including driveways, drainage, water supply, power, phone and internet connections.

4. Cadastral Survey (Land Transfer Plan) prepared by your surveyor:
a. This is the formal legal survey of the land to finalise the new property boundaries and dimensions.

b. The LT Plan will include details of the new titles and any rights or obligations to be registered on the titles.

c. Your surveyor will give a draft copy to your lawyer.

d. Your lawyer uses the LT Plan to prepare any required rights or obligations to be registered on the new records of title. We work with service providers like Chorus, Powerco and electricity network companies to obtain easements. For example, an easement may be required for internet access, as the lines to establish this service belong to Chorus. These lines will have to run through your property so that buildings on the property can establish an internet connection. Therefore, Chorus must have the ability to access your property, which means an easement is required.

e. The surveyor lodges the LT Plan for checking and deposit with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).
5. If a mortgage has been registered against your title to the property then we arrange for the mortgagee to consent to the subdivision.

In order to subdivide, you need consent from your bank. Some banks will provide a simple consent, which means we can go ahead and the existing mortgage will simply step down onto the new title(s). However, we’re now often seeing from banks a requirement for substitute loan documentation, where the bank authorises us to discharge the current mortgage on the basis that we will register a replacement mortgage on the newly created title(s).

6. Certification under sections 223 and 224, Resource Management Act 1991 a. Council confirms that all the conditions of the resource consent (if any) have been met and provides certification to Land Information New Zealand.

7. Lodging with Land Information New Zealand
a. Your lawyer will work together with your surveyor to lodge the approved LT Plan and application for new titles with Land Information New Zealand.

8. Your new record(s) of title will be issued.

Depending on the nature and complexity of your proposed subdivision, the timeframe from engaging a surveyor to issue of title can vary from 3 months (for a simple boundary adjustment) to over a year (for large scale developments).

Each party involved in the subdivision will have their own fee calculations. Before you engage a professional service provider, it is a sensible idea to discuss their fee estimate for undertaking the proposed works. An estimate can only be given based on information at hand (which will be limited at concept stage) and will not account for any unknown issues that may arise (such as encroachments from neighboring properties or objections form affected parties).

If you are considering any type of subdivision or land development in the wider Wellington Region, we welcome you to reach out to arrange an initial consultation to see if we can help and whether we are a good fit to become part of you subdivision dream team.

Danielle can be reached at or by calling 04 496 9990.