Should Have Looked (September 2016)

Look out for subdivision rule changes – Waikato landowners beware !

“I should have looked at the proposed subdivision rules when they were notified by Council.  If only I had realised the significance of the changes”.  I don't know how may times I have heard this said over the years.

You see, most residents are busy getting on with their lives and don't really have the time or inclination to be bothered with the continual announcement of changes to this rule and that.  I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to keeping an eye on rules that affect me personally –  it can be a daunting task!

But we really can't afford to be complacent, can we.  There have been major changes to subdivision rules over the past several years and helping people keep ahead of them has kept us in business through some otherwise quiet times.  But not everybody is aware that these changes are in the pipeline and what effect they will have.  So you must keep an eye out in the mail box and local media for proposed changes and have your say!

You should always make submissions on the rule changes whether you agree or disagree with proposals - don't believe that the rules will end up as Council initially advertise.  I have seen cases where the Environment Court makes a ruling quite different to either that originally proposed by Council or that proposed by a submitter. 

Currently we are involved in appeals to the Thames-Coromandel District Plan and we are watching closely the developments at Waikato District Council.  They are due to advertise a Plan Change soon which, no doubt, will have a significant effect on rural landowners in the region.  With options for subdividing a small farming/horticultural, lifestyle or retirement block already minimal, it is due to get a lot, lot harder in my opinion. 

The new Waikato Plan will cover the part of Franklin annexed when the Super City was formed.  This should see similar rules established across the District, however it will mean a radical change to the existing regime in both parts, I believe.  You can expect to see transferable titles disappear and lifestyle blocks be virtually eliminated unless they are being subdivided off very large blocks or protecting major ecological features.  For those in this area it has never been more important to plan ahead and obtain additional titles now to give you flexibility in managing and developing your property in the future. 

So, if you have been procrastinating over how to get the best value out of your land, now is the time to act, before it is too late.  If you are interested to find out how the changes may affect you, feel free to give me a call and discuss your situation. 

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


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