Lifestyle subdivisions moving further out (August 2021)


South Waikato and Matamata-Piako have their turn

With the pressure of subdivision now limiting development opportunities nearer to Hamilton and Tauranga, South Waikato and Matamata-Piako are seeing increased development. Sandwiched between Waikato and the Western Bay of Plenty and bordered by the Kaimai-Mamaku range in the east, they are effectively the next stop.

In recent years many councils in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty have moved to severely restrict smaller rural and lifestyle blocks.  Most now have a minimum rural block size of 40 hectares, although Waikato still allows one lifestyle block to be subdivided off some older titles over 20 hectares in size. That size could well increase very soon. 

Further south in South Waikato District we are seeing significant development as the demand from lifestylers moves further out.  Richard Leach from Countrywide Real Estate, Putararu says, “Things are going exceptionally well in this area.  People seem to have woken up to the fact that we are centrally located, have good employment prospects and land and housing are value for money”.  The region is experiencing unprecedented demand at present. 

The Rural Subdivision Rules here in the south allow a two-lot subdivision of many existing sections that are over 4 hectares in size, with the flexibility to make one of those to be a small residential size section of around 2500 square metres.  And if you start with over 30 hectares you may be able to subdivide into three lots.

Bordering South Waikato and stretching north to Hauraki District, Matamata-Piako have taken a ‘land quality’ approach, allowing properties with ‘general quality’ land to subdivide down to a 20-hectare size, whereas ‘high quality’ land requires 40-hectares. 

In addition to this, each title that existed on 4 December 2013 will qualify for an application to subdivide off one block of 8-hectares or more, provided a balance lot can be left at least 20 hectares in size.  This provides farmers an opportunity to sever a small rural lot from their farm, providing an opportunity for diversification or family settlement. 

Another rule that is commonly used in this District provides the ability to apply to cut a 'lifestyle' block off the farm.  This block is limited in size to either one or two hectares, depending on the quality of land and title date.  The balance area must be either 20 or 40 hectares, depending on the land quality.

Councils are bound to regularly review their rules, so you can’t count on all or any of these rules remaining in the long term. In addition to these size restrictions there are a host of other rules affecting subdivision so, if you are wanting to plan your future with some certainty whilst these rules are still current, feel free to give us a call or email to discuss your particular situation. You can also read more about whether subdivision is an option to reduce debt.

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