New Waikato Subdivision Rules (August 2018)

New subdivision rules for Waikato.

Waikato District Council last month advertised their proposed District Plan. The Plan, integrating the Franklin and Waikato sections, will introduce a consistent approach to development and growth for the first time since the district’s boundary changed in 2010.  Finally, the whole district will have a single set of subdivision rules.

It brings us no real surprises, after keeping ourselves informed during the process.  However, we strongly believe that as always, following public submissions and hearings, the rules will most likely finish up completely different.

As predicted, transferrable titles are gone.  This was pretty well the only way that landowners in the old Franklin area could subdivide rural land, if they didn’t have significant ecological features on site.  Now those Franklin landowners have a new opportunity. 

The General Subdivision Rule proposes that a lifestyle lot of about a hectare can be cut off many older titles that exceed twenty hectares in size. However, don’t relax and sit back if you currently comply with this – I fully expect that this will eventually refer to titles over 40 hectares in size.

This rule provides ‘ex Franklin’ owners a path to subdivide small lifestyle lots in a manner available to their Waikato neighbours for many years and who, at least for now, can continue to use the rule.

Boundary adjustments between neighbours can be applied for, however, I believe this rule needs some tweaking in order to be workable.  Also, a new ‘rural hamlet’ rule promotes the relocation and reduction in size of multiple titles, allowing for lifestyle living.

In a last-minute turn around, Council have opted to allow subdivision of up to three new lots, rather than two, when over 10 hectares of qualifying ecological feature is permanently protected. 

Now that the new rules have been publicly notified, you have an opportunity to make submissions to Council over the next two months - and so you should, whether you like them or not.  Being involved is the only way to have any influence over something that can shape the future of your district.

If you have any interest in subdividing a title over 20 hectares in size in the Waikato Rural Zone, now is the time to move.  The notified rules still allow this, but don’t be complacent – in time that will change and, before you know it, you may only be able to subdivide with over 40 hectares.

If you are interested to find out what opportunities might potentially be lost or gained through this process, feel free to give me a call and discuss your situation without delay. 

Brent Trail, Managing Director of Surveying Services, specialises in resource consent applications for subdivisions across the Waikato, Coromandel and Bay of Plenty.  For further information call 0800 268632 or email


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