Hauraki District confirms Subdivision and Housing Rules (Sept 19)

Hauraki District Council has recently completed their public hearing process and notified its decisions on the District Plan.

The proposed changes come in two forms – reduced sizes for residential sites in several of their towns and allowance for minor dwellings on many urban and rural sites. As well as freeing up more land for subdivision, the changes will assist in providing housing for single people and elderly or disabled family members in both rural and urban areas.

At the time of writing, the Council Decision is still subject to appeal to the Environment Court. Those that made submissions and are not happy with the Council’s Decision can appeal to the Court within 30 days of notification. 

Council have confirmed their goal of reducing their minimum residential section size to 450 square metres in Paeroa, Waihi and Whiritoa from the 525 sq m allowed earlier. This means that finally we are back to a sensible size that unlocks the potential of many of the older quarter acre sections – land that is currently ‘locked up’ and not available for housing. This still puts their minimum size larger than the 350 sq m allowable in adjoining Western Bay District and central areas of Morrinsville. The minimum section size remains unchanged at 525 sq m in Ngatea and Kerepehi.

In an effort to allow more housing on existing sites in both the rural and urban areas, Council are allowing the building of minor dwelling units on serviced residential sites over 650 sq m in the residential areas and on rural sites between 2500 sq m and 40 hectares.

The minor dwelling units are limited in size to a maximum of 60 sq m with additional garaging allowed. There are restrictions to control the effects on both the environment and neighbours. For example, both houses will have to use the same driveway, and in the rural zone the minor dwelling will have to be located within ten metres of the main dwelling unless granted a specific exemption.

Hauraki has a minimum size of 40 hectares for new rural lots on the plains which makes it difficult to subdivide there unless you have more than one house on your title or you are proposing a boundary adjustment with neighbours.  Around Waihi there is a minimum of 6 hectares, acknowledging the need for smaller horticultural blocks.  These rules are balanced by allowable subdivision in the foothill areas where you can often subdivide lifestyle blocks down to 5000 sq m in size, with limitations on the number of blocks produced from each existing title. 

If you are planning your future and wish to clarify any subdivision or land use issues, feel free to give me a call. I am happy to discuss the situation with you to see if it is worth pursuing.

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

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