What to Expect When Subdividing

Are you too late to the subdivision party?

With interest rates back on the rise and construction costs increasing, you may be wondering if residential development has hit its peak. With predicted demand for new housing over the next ten years remaining strong, the best time to invest in your land assets is “when you can”. So if you’ve been sitting on the fence about subdividing your land, now’s the time to grab your party gear and take the plunge.

How long does it take to subdivide my land?

The subdivision process for a standard 2-3 lot subdivision will typically take somewhere between 9-12mths from whoa to go, depending on the site and its location.

Step one – preparation for subdivision approval 3-5 months

This is probably the longest stage in the process and is where more time and costs can accumulate if not done correctly. Speed here depends on how fast everyone works and any uncovered issues that may need to be resolved, particularly in relation to servicing and drainage. Your surveyor will prepare the subdivision plan, which includes a topographical survey, and undertake investigations for your land to support the application to Council. Once this information is finalised your Subdivision Consent application will go into Council for approval. Processing times will vary depending on the Council; The RMA allows for a 20 working day period from receipt of all information, but more often than not the timeframes are considerably longer than this.

Step two – engineering consent applications 1-2 months

Next, your surveyor will be developing engineering plans and submitting your engineering and building consent for approval by council (EPA). This may have to wait until the consent has issued depending on complexity of conditions.

Step three – pegging & physical works 2-4 months

Finally, you will see evidence of your subdivision in real life, as the physical parts of pegging your boundary, earthworks, driveways, and drainage are completed. Your surveyor will commence the Land Transfer Survey as they undertake calculations in the office and peg the boundaries, prepare and then send eSurvey dataset to Council for 223 Certification. Meanwhile, the engineering and physical works for driveway and servicing can get underway. Timeframes will depend significantly on the complexity of your subdivision.

Step four - sec 224 and LINZ approval 6-10 weeks

Next, your surveyor will lodge your eSurvey dataset and Land Transfer plan with LINZ for examination and verification. Allow three-six weeks for a normal LINZ timeframe, however it is possible to reduce this via a fast-track process if your surveyor and lawyer have everything in order. Once the survey plan has been approved as to survey by LINZ, and all conditions of the Resource Consent are met, a 224 Certificate is submitted to Council for approval.

Step five – issue of new titles 6 weeks

When any Development Contributions have been paid to Council and the 224 certification has been obtained, your lawyer can request new titles. Allow around 4 - 6 weeks for the solicitor to complete the necessary paperwork, and once titles are received, your subdivision is complete!

Now’s good!

So, if you are asking yourself if now is a good time to subdivide, consider the timeframe it will likely take to complete the process, against what your plans are for your land. If you start today, you’ll be ready to develop your land or sell it as an investment in 2023.