Waipa (February 2012)

Waipa rule change will squash rural subdivision

After a lengthy consultation period Waipa District Council will publicly notify its change to subdivision rules next month.    This will mark the start of a formal submission process where landowners have a chance to object to or support the changes.

There are changes to the residential rules but the major effect will likely be felt by the rural landowners.  Other Councils are also announcing big changes so if you live in Waikato, Hauraki, Matamata-Piako, Thames-Coromandel or Western Bay you need to be alert also.

During this process you can still carry out subdivision under the old rules so, if you have thought of subdividing, it is important to get on with it right now.  You will also want to put in a submission to the rule change to help secure your position.  There is a slim chance that public pressure may influence Council in its decision making process, however don't bet on it as Council have the resources to push through most decisions that they have made!

One of the significant opportunities lost will be the withdrawal of the ‘long association’ rule. This enables many long term landowners to subdivide a new lot. So, if you have lived on a property for around 13 years already, we could assist you in planning to secure these rights. 

Fortunately the entire subdivision process doesn’t need to be finished immediately – just resource consent at this stage.  It can be extended over eight years making the initial cost of securing your rights more affordable.

It is also not too late to take advantage of other rules such as the 25ha lot size (before it doubles!) and the ability to create a new title around an existing surplus house on your property.  Many landowners appreciate the advantage of doing this to provide their families with options in relation to ownership and development of their land.  If you want flexibility in how you deal with your asset in the future you must act now to secure your current rights while they are still available to you.

As Waipa District Council move to protect the quality soils, they are providing subdivision opportunities for those with significant natural areas on their properties.  These areas include wetlands, stream and river margins and native bush.  

With rules like this proposed it’s no wonder I am regularly being approached by many to explain the situation and get Council approval for their subdivisions before it becomes impossible to achieve.  If you are interested to find out how the deletion of these rules or future opportunities may affect you, please feel free to give me a call. 

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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