Hauraki Appeal (June 2014)

Hauraki subdivision appeal resolved

An order was recently signed by The Environment Court resolving a long standing appeal against the Hauraki District Plan subdivision rules.  The resulting rules were negotiated over a long period between the appellants and Hauraki Council.

A significant component of this appeal was the virtual abolishment of further subdivision on the plains.  This rule requiring any new rural lot to be over 80 hectares was largely defended by Council, however it was agreed that where there is more than one house existing on a lot less than 40 hectares you can apply to subdivide lots containing the additional houses.  A minimum lot size of 2,500 square metres and a maximum of 1 hectare is required. 

This rule allows for similar subdivision in the Waihi Basin only on lots that are currently under 12 hectares.  Any other opportunities on the Plains or Waihi Basin will be based on boundary adjustments between existing titles where landowners have many titles or are amalgamating farms. 

The minimum rural lot size in the Waihi Basin remains at 6 hectares.  These lots, containing existing houses that must have been occupied for five years, will now be the only small lifestyle lots allowed on the Plains or Waihi Basin. 

Outside of those specific areas, lifestyle blocks will be subdividable from many existing larger lots.  This is intended to create opportunities to subdivide a range of smaller blocks generally between half a hectare and 2.5 hectares on the less productive foothills.

Anybody who has existing approvals will be able to proceed with them as the resource consents normally have a total life of 8 years, as long as certain progress is made along the way. 

Another change affecting new lots in residential zones except Turua was negotiated under the appeal.  Council originally pushed the minimum lot size up to 525 square metres from the old 350.  It was agreed that a smaller lot size was appropriate only when creating a range of lot sizes in a subdivision.  Now the minimum size can be as low as 450 square metres on some subdivisions as long as certain criteria are met. 

The rules are complex and the door is always open to alternatives that do not exactly fit the rules so if you are contemplating subdivision you should consult a surveying company familiar with the rules.   Feel free to give me a call if you need to clarify how the changes may affect your plans.

Brent Trail, Managing Director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Coromandel, Waikato, and Bay of Plenty.  For further information call 0800 268 632 or email


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