Minden WBOP (November 2015)

Minden area focus for WBOP rural subdivision - True lifestyle blocks hard to create

After a significant slowdown following the GFC and major changes to the subdivision rules in the Western Bay of Plenty District, increased demand is again driving rural subdivision.  Due to the climate and great coastal lifestyle, the Bay is a popular destination for those escaping the urban environment for the good life. The sale of a modest house in a main centre can buy you an income producing block of Kiwifruit or Avocados. 

Following recent changes to the subdivision rules there are few new rural production or lifestyle blocks being created - the minimum area is now 6 hectares.  If you want a smaller one you will often have to buy an existing block. 

The emphasis for rural living blocks is now in the Minden Lifestyle Zone, although I would describe this as more of a rural 'residential' zone than lifestyle.  The blocks here are a minimum of 2500 square metres with many being closer to 5000 square metres.  This is really just a residential size, allowing for only a house and spacious yards but not animals or any production.  Those seeking a lifestyle block will have to find an already established larger block of a few hectares in size.

Many of the rural properties that once could subdivide can sell their past subdivision potential to people in the lifestyle zones, which are also located close to Katikati and Te Puke.  These are called transferable development rights (TDRs) and sell for around $20,000.  TDRs can also be created by protecting ecological features and amalgamating existing titles together in the rural zone.  Without purchasing these TDRs you cannot subdivide in the Lifestyle Zone.  

Development in the Minden Zone is limited pending construction of the Tauranga Northern Link.  Some parts are now reaching their capacity, due to the design of their intersection on to the state highway.  Once capacity is reached there will be a long wait before the highway is upgraded and more subdivision is allowed.

In the rural zone a few rules still allow limited subdivision to proceed but you will generally need over 12 hectares of 'horticultural land', a qualifying cultural or ecological feature worthy of protection or a stream over 250 metres long passing through your property.

For example, protecting a wetland area of at least half a hectare can produce an additional subdivision lot.  Areas of scrub or bush also qualify, depending on their size and significance. 

If you wish to clarify any subdivision strategies mentioned here please 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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