Rates, Building and Property


Subdivision is when land is divided into sections that are easier to sell or develop. Find out about subdividing land in Palmerston North.

There are many stakeholders involved in the process of subdividing:

  • Palmerston North City Council
  • Licensed cadastral surveyor or registered professional surveyor
  • Solicitors
  • Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
  • Horizons Regional Council
  • Affected persons, like neighbours

It's important to plan ahead when subdividing as it is not a quick process. There are many steps before we can issue titles for the new allotments.

Section 7 of the District Plan details the subdivision rules. You'll need to talk to a Council planning officer to check the zoning rules for the site. It's important to provide as much information as you can, like the size of your site, the location of existing buildings and site access.

You should also engage a local licensed cadastral surveyor or registered professional surveyor, who will lodge an application for subdivision consent on your behalf. They are experienced and will know whether the land you want to subdivide is suitable and can meet Council rules.

How do I apply for a subdivision consent?

You need to engage a licensed cadastral surveyor or registered professional surveyor to lodge the application on your behalf. The application should include all the relevant information the Council needs to process it. This includes but is not limited to the information listed here:

  • address and legal description of the property and a copy of the Certificates of Title for the land to be subdivided
  • abutting and underlying title boundaries and existing building line restrictions
  • topographic and geological details
  • areas of the land that are or may be subject to flooding, inundation, erosion, landslip or subsidence
  • existing vegetation, including significant areas of bush and significant individual trees
  • vegetation to be retained or protected
  • existing sanitary, sewer and stormwater drainage systems with invert and manhole levels
  • existing power and telegraph poles and services
  • existing and proposed septic tanks and irrigation systems
  • existing roads, carriageways and pathways to which connection will be made
  • existing buildings and other structures with description of their uses and materials and whether you intend to retain, relocate or remove them
  • proposed roads, accessways, service lanes, access lots, and private ways with relevant widths, areas and proposed gradients
  • proposed easements (drainage, rights of way etc) with a memorandum and/or schedule
  • proposed areas of excavation and filling, together with proposed finished contours - note, earthworks proposals should be accompanied by a report from a registered engineer or other suitably qualified person with experience in soil mechanics or geotechnical matters

How much is the deposit fee?

Please refer to the Planning Fees and Charges booklet in the downloads section at the bottom of the page.

How long will the Council take to process my subdivision consent application?

The statutory timeframe for processing a subdivision consent is 20 working days. If we require further information under S92 of the RMA 1991, we will contact you to request this information. Essentially, the clock stops ticking and timeframes are placed on hold until you provide us with this further information to help us process your application.

What happens if I don't meet all of the rules for subdividing?

As well as an application for subdivision consent, you will need to apply for a resource consent (this is also called a land use consent). Your surveyor is able to undertake this work on your behalf. Depending on which rules you don't meet, Council may identify affected persons who will have to give written consent for the proposal.

Do I have to tell my neighbour about my proposal?

It is courteous to talk to your neighbour before starting construction work or when you have a proposal in mind. However, you are not legally bound to consult with them unless your project requires an affected person to give written consent.

If you are the neighbour and are deemed to be unaffected by the proposal, you have no legal ability to become involved. If you are concerned, talk to the developer about your concerns or contact us if you require information about their proposal.

What happens once the subdivision consent is lodged?

The general process is listed here. This process will vary for more complex or notified subdivision consents.

  • Subdivision consent application is lodged with Council
  • The application is processed by the planning officer and other relevant officers, like roading engineers, subdivision engineers and waste and water engineers
  • Council decision with conditions (this will vary depending on the extent of the subdivision) and any objections/appeals have been resolved
  • Surveyor will accurately measure the land and prepare Land Transfer Plan and place pegs in ground to define new boundary
  • The Surveyor will submit Land Transfer Plan to Council as well as confirm that conditions imposed have been completed by the applicant. 

There are two types of Certificates to be issued by Council:

  • 223 Certificate for approval of the final survey plan
  • 224 Certificate for approval of all conditions being met. This certificate can be applied for in conjunction with the 223 Certificate. This may also involve Council officers inspecting any construction work to confirm it meets Council's minimum standards
  • When approved, the Council will return the signed certificates to the surveyor, who will lodge the survey plan and other related documents with Land Information New Zealand for checking
  • When LINZ is happy, the plan will be passed on to the Land Title Office to issue the Certificates of Title for the new allotments

Subdivision consent conditions

It is standard for Council to impose conditions on a subdivision consent to ensure that the land or existing buildings on the site can operate properly. For example, access to the allotments and service installation. Generally these requirements must be met before titles are issued.

Do I have to pay a development contribution?

The majority of subdivision proposals result in more demand on our city's infrastructure. The increased demand caused by your development means that you will need to pay a development contribution.

The amount you have to pay will depend on what area within the city the site is located and the nature of the subdivision. The development contribution will need to be paid before the 224 Certificate is issued.

How long does my subdivision consent last for?

Under the Resource Management Act 1991, you have up to five years from the time consent is granted to obtain the 223 Certificate. You have up to three more years from the date the 223 Certificate is issued to obtain the 224 Certificate.