Can I Subdivide?

Subdivisions (including boundary adjustments) require a resource consent within the Manawatu District. Once you have been able to determine the zoning of your land which you wish to subdivide you will be able to check the District Plan for the conditions around subdivision. You can establish what zone the land is in via the Council's Online Maps.

Each zone in the district plan sets out a minimum lot size requirement. If your land is large enough to create allotments at or above the size requirement then you should approach a surveyor or consultant to help you prepare your resource consent application.

The surveyor or consultant will be able to outline for you the entire subdivision process, and its associated costs based on their experiences. Most surveyors and consultants will give you a free consult which will help assist you in determining whether you wish to pursue the process of subdivision.

A Guide to Subdivisions

All subdivision of land in the Manawatu District requires a resource consent under the Resource Management Act (1991). This is to ensure the surrounding area and environment are not adversely affected by the subdivision and that all works are carried out to an appropriate standard.

Can my property be subdivided?

The rules of the District Plan set out the parameters for subdivision in the district. There is a variety of ways to proceed with a subdivision proposal, either reviewing the rules of the District Plan, contacting a surveyor, or Councils planning staff to discuss your proposal.

Making an application

All applications are to made in the proper form and should include the relevant information listed on the Council’s “Subdivision check-list for applicants”. The application form is available from Council. Many of the requirements listed on the checklist may not be relevant to your application, if you have any further questions please contact a Planner at the Council. If the information supplied with the application is not sufficient to enable council staff to fully understand and assess the proposal, then the application will be placed on hold until further information is provided.

Application fees

A fee is payable on lodgement of all applications. In many cases this will be the whole cost of the application. In other cases, where a hearing or specialist input is required, the fee will be a deposit.


A subdivision application in the nodal area may need to be notified. It is important to consider that every subdivision varies in its effects and thus the need for an application to be notified also varies.

How long does Council have to process my consent?

For non-notified applications Council has 20 working days to make a decision. Council staff will always try and process applications in less time than the statutory 20 days. However, the time it takes for a land use consent decision varies depending on the complexity of the application, and the workload of the Planner. It would be wise to take these timeframes into consideration when planning your subdivision. For Notified applications the following timeframes apply:

  • A public notice is placed in the Manawatu Evening Standard or Feilding Herald within 10 working days of the application being lodged. From the date of public notice any person can make a submission on the application over the next 20 working days.
  • If no submissions are received a decision will usually be made within two weeks.
  • If the submissions are received and submitters wish to be heard, a consent authority will give every person who made an submission and the applicant at least 10 working days’ notice of date, time and place of a hearing.
  • A hearing must be completed no later than 75 working days after the closing date submissions on the application.

The time frame for limited notification applications is the same as notified applications, except that instead of a public notice the affected parties are notified through mail, giving them 20 working days to make a submission.

Conditions of consent

Conditions of the consent are imposed to ensure that developments are sound from both engineering environmental aspects, and to protect other landowners or future residents. Conditions may include financial contributions to be paid. They may also include requirements for land to be vested in Council for services or roads. Development contributions may also need to be paid to Council. Although not a condition of consent, these have to be paid prior to a Section 224 certificate being issued.

Final approvals

Once subdivision consent has been granted, the applicant has five years to submit a survey plan to Council. This is a detailed plan prepared by a registered surveyor and must be in accordance with the original plan submitted, and satisfy conditions of the resource consent. If the survey plan satisfies Council’s requirements, it is approved and then be lodged with Land Information New Zealand. The applicant then has up to three years to complete all the conditions of the consent.

Upon completing these they may then apply for a completion Certificate pursuant to Section 224 of the Resource Management Act. If the applicant wishes to obtain a certificate of title, and there is still a condition outstanding, a bond may be able to entered into with the Council. This enables the documents to be lodged with the District Land Registrar and Certificates of Title to be issued. Failure to seal the survey plan or obtain a Section 224 Certificate within the prescribed time period will result in the consent lapsing.