Subdivision Land nowadays is at a premium. So if you’re fortunate to have a large piece of land, the best way to capitalise off of it is by subdividing it and selling your garden as a separate property. But the process behind subdivision is not as easy as it sounds. There are important steps in the process, such as meeting with surveyors and complying with the regulations surrounding the subdivision, among other things.

This Auckland subdivision of property guide aims to provide you with information on what subdividing is, the important steps in the subdivision process, and everything else that you need to know about subdivision Auckland.

What is Subdivision Auckland?

Subdividing is when you divide a piece of land or buildings into separate parts, generally in the idea of selling some off or splitting into separate ownership. There are various reasons why you might want to subdivide their property. It may be because the land is too big for your needs or your section has been re-zoned and subdivision has been allowed. 

When subdividing or changing the existing boundary location of a property, you are required to apply for resource consent. Take note there are a number of legislative provisions for when subdividing land, one of which being the Resource Management Act 1991. This act controls and restricts subdivision, ensuring any subdivisions to be made will not have any adverse effect on the community and environment.

Here are a few more examples of when you need to apply resource content:

  • Converting a cross-lease into a freehold title
  • Modifying the boundaries of your property
  • Subdividing your land into separately owned properties
  • Amending a cross-lease, company lease, or unit title by adding or making alternations

Can I Subdivide My Property?

can i subdivide my property? yes you can but to be allowed to subdivide your property, you are required to meet the requirements of the District Plan or Council’s Unitary. The requirements vary according to the zoning of your property, but typically involves planning controls and development standards. This may also include the consideration of the building height in relation to boundary, provisions of suitable building platforms, private open space, vehicular access, minimum lot sizes, and more.

Furthermore, you will be required to provide utility servicing to all lots to be created, such as stormwater, telephone, supply of power, and disposal of waste water. 

If your land is located in an area that is easily affected by flooding, you must show that your subdivision project will not worsen the flood risk on the neighbouring properties.  

Subdividing your land can be a long and expensive process. If you are new to this field, it’s best to get professional advice before applying for subdivision consent. There are also several factors that may influence your subdivision, whether you will be allowed or not. 

Factors of subdivision Auckland include:

  • The size of your land/property
  • The zone your land is in (Each zone have different minimum areas for subdividing lots)
  • Vehicular access, parking, and manoeuvering
  • Whether the ground is prone to hazards (e.g., erosion, flooding, or contamination)
  • Whether utility service (e.g., wastewater drainage or new stormwater) is necessary or if there are existing pipes that require upgrade

Types of Auckland Subdivision

There are three most common types of subdivisions, which are: Fee Simple, Unit Tlte, and Cross-Lease.

Fee Simple

Often referred to as “freehold,” “an estate in fee simple,” or “fee simple absolute,” fee simple is a legal term used in real estate which basically means you have full and irrevocable ownership of the land and any structure on that land. This gives you, the owner, the greatest benefit in regards to how you use the land without having to get consent from neighbouring properties. 

In fee simple, you can create one or more additional sections from your existing land, and new records of titles will be created for each section. This is the most common type of subdivision.

Unit Title

Townhouses and apartments are growing and have been seen to be an excellent housing option amongst New Zealanders. If you are looking into being a unit title owner, understanding what’s involved is important.

A unit title subdivision allows you to create individual titles to units and apartments over an existing piece of land. The housing units have a body corporate (consists of all unit owners), in which you automatically become a member of. The body corporate is required to hold annual general meetings once a year to discuss body corporate matters. Other duties include holding a register of unit owners, preparing financial statements, and setting the operational rules.

As for the building within the unit title subdivision, they must share common areas, such as lobbies, driveways, stairs, lifts, gardens, and more. The body corporate is responsible for the maintenance of shared areas.


The third most popular type of subdivision is the cross-lease (also known as flat plan), though this subdivision has now become less desirable in today’s market. In a cross-lease subdivision, each flat or unit owner has an equal share/common ownership of the land the dwellings and structures are built on, including the long-term lease on their property. 

In this type of subdivision, you need your neighbours’ permission should you need to make substantial changes on the shared land outside of your unit.

Subdivision Auckland, Auckland subdivision
Subdivision Land Auckland

How to Subdivide in Auckland

Are you thinking of subdividing a large section of your land? Getting a lawyer, a licensed surveyor, and engineer could help you throughout the development process. 

Hire a lawyer who is experienced in this field to evaluate whether your property meets the subdivision Auckland requirement (or the lack thereof). This involves searching the legal title to your property and assessing the District Plan that applies to your property.

The entire process is lengthy and can be complicated, depending on your development plans. To give you an idea, here’s an overview of the process:

  • Feasibility Assessment
  • Budget Costings
  • Obtaining a resource consent from local council
  • Topography survey
  • Sealing of plan by your local council
  • Submitting development plan to Land Information New Zealand
  • Approval of the plan
  • Site construction
  • Preparation of new title plans
  • Section 223/224(c) approval from Council
  • Land transfer survey
  • Solicitor applies for new titles

How much does it cost to subdivide NZ?

The cost to subdivide in New Zealand can vary widely. Basically, the more complicated the subdivision Auckland project is, the more costly it can get. As mentioned above, the process is long and involves a lot of development planning, which involves professional surveyors, lawyers, and contractors. These factors can add up to the total cost of the Auckland subdivision project.

In Auckland, the average cost of a standard Auckland subdivision of a property into two lots is around $150,000+. This cost covers professional fees, approved consent, a new certificate of title, and other requirements.

Other factors to consider are:

  • Development contribution fees
  • Consent processing costs
  • Driveway and access
  • Land Information New Zealand fees
  • Professional fees (lawyers, engineers, planners, surveyors, etc.)
  • Utility (water power, stormwater, communications, etc.)

How long will it take?

The time it will take to subdivide a parcel of land is subjective as it will depend on the scale of development. However, a standard auckland subdivision of a small parcel that comes with less conditions is likely to progress more quickly than a large site that has to undergo multiple preliminary investigations.

Is it worth the time and cost?

The process involved in Auckland subdivision can be lengthy and costly. Furthermore, it’s important to consider that there are factors that could delay the process, such as the time it takes to obtain consents from the council and preparation of legal documents. 

Subdividing your land is a great way to capitalise from it. However, you should be aware that it may take some time before you receive your money, given the length of time the process requires.

Final Takeaway of Subdivision Auckland

Subdivision of property in New Zealand can be a complicated process. Land developments such as this require a lot of planning. The process can also be expensive, depending on the scale of the project. Standard subdivisions with few conditions are more likely to progress quickly. Large projects, however, require more investigations and legal proceedings.

subdivision auckland

Frequently Asked Questions of Subdivision in Auckland

What is the minimum land size for subdivision in Auckland?

In Auckland subdivision, the size and zone your land is in are the main deciding factors when subdividing land. For mixed housing urban zones, each proposed unit must have a minimum size of 300sq metres. If you’re in a mixed suburban zone, each lot must be a minimum of 400sq metres. For a single house zone, each proposed unit must be a minimum of 600sq metres. 

Do I need neighbours’ permission to subdivide my property?

The simple answer is: as long as you comply with the planning requirements, there is no need for neighbours’ approval. For adjustments to the boundary between neighbours, this will only involve the owners, surveyor, a solicitor, and the Council. 
Generally, the most important permission you need to acquire is the resource consent from your local council. If your Auckland subdivision does not meet the minimum lot size for its zone, the Council may ask your neighbour for their agreement.

How Long does subdivision of land in Auckland take?

Auckland subdivision of land process takes around 5-6 months depending on the complexity and size of the subdivision. And sometimes it may take more time to subdivide in Auckland.