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  • Geetha Arunthayaparan

Are you considering subdividing your land?

Types of property subdivision


A subdivision is the process of dividing land usually into smaller parts. The subdivision process can be completed in many ways. This article sets out the usual process and is not intended to cover every alternative.


The Auckland Unitary Plan has rules you need to consider if you want to divide your property into separate legal titles. Auckland council can give you some general information about subdivision if your property is zoned.


The important message is that before proceeding with a subdivision you should discuss the proposed subdivision with a surveyor, lawyer, and accountant so that any issues can be identified at the start.



There are three common types of titles:

  1. Fee simple – the most common form of subdivision. It divides an existing property into two or more sections

  2. Unit title – this gives individual titles to housing units over an existing piece of land. The housing units have a body corporate, and the units usually share in the common property such as driveways, gardens, etc.

  3. Cross-lease – previously common, less desirable today. A lease is created over each unit, which is called a "flat". Each flat owner has shared ownership of the property.


Costs will likely include:

  • consent processing costs

  • development contribution fees

  • infrastructure connections (water, power, communication etc.)

  • driveways and access

  • professional fees (surveyors, planners, lawyers, engineers etc.)

  • Land Information New Zealand fees.

Engage a licensed surveyor


Engage a surveyor to get an idea of overall costs, how long the whole subdivision process will take and what's involved.

Surveyors can help with:

  • drafting a subdivision design for your property

  • Auckland Unitary Plan rules

  • site specific zoning

  • clarifying the need for stormwater, wastewater, sewer connections

  • identifying power, water, phone connections

  • vehicle access

  • providing a detailed breakdown of all subdivision costs associated with subdividing your section.

Engage an Experienced Lawyer

Engage a Lawyer initially will help you to get an idea of final land registry costs, how long the consent process will take, and explanation of the any legal documents involved.

Lawyer can help with:

  • Consent from the mortgage/ Caveator

  • Preparation of Easements/ Encumbrances/ Covenants

  • Telecommunication/ Chorus approval

  • Liaising with Auckland council lawyer if required

  • Lodging all necessary legal instruments to LINZ (land Registry)

  • Issuing of new titles.

Issue of titles

Once the section 223 and 224 certificates have issued, the survey plan has been finalised and all the legal documentations have been completed, the surveyor can lodge the survey plan and the lawyer can lodge the legal documentation at Land Information New Zealand for the issue of the new titles.


Once Land Information New Zealand has approved the survey plan and the legal documentation, then the survey plan will deposit, and titles will issue for the new lots.


We at Legal Associates have significant experience with subdivisions and can provide advice should you have any queries. For more information and free consultation, please contact us.