Waikato District Plan draws hundreds of submissions (January 2019)

Following the recent public notification of their Proposed District Plan, Waikato District Council received hundreds of submissions from the general public, government agencies and other organisations. The Plan change was necessary to integrate the Franklin and Waikato sections and is meant to introduce a consistent approach to development and growth across the District for the first time since the District’s boundary changed in 2010.

Since submissions closed on the 9th of October, Council staff have been busy collating the submissions to enable a list of submissions to be further notified early this year. This is only the start of a lengthy legal process that can take many years before it is finalised – and it is only the first stage. The second stage is now underway and looks at natural hazards and climate change. This is bound to further affect some subdivision activities.

Whether you have made a submission or not, it is important to look at the list of submissions, when published over the next month or so, and see if they affect your future plans at all. In general, anyone can make a ‘further submission’, particularly those who are affected by a potential rule change. So, have a look when they are published and, if they affect you either positively or negatively, you should have your say. Being involved is the only way to have any influence over something that can shape the future of your district and ultimately affect your livelihood.

Key changes include the deletion of Transferrable Titles, which were virtually the only way that you could subdivide rural land in the Franklin area aside from protecting and covenanting natural features. It is now proposed that Franklin owners will have the same subdivision rights that Waikato landowners have enjoyed over the years - if they have been unable to subdivide recently.

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 by the end of this process this rule will only apply to titles over 40 hectares in size, so this may be your last chance to subdivide a 20ha block!.

Also proposed is a new ‘rural hamlet’ rule promoting the relocation and reduction in size of multiple titles, allowing for lifestyle living. The rules allowing subdivision in return for protection of environmental features will remain in some form.
Proposed rules have a habit of changing during the process and coming out quite different from that proposed, so be vigilant. If the rules allow your subdivision now, don’t delay.

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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