Subdividing - Part Two - Misc. NZ
Subdividing - Part Two

Subdividing - Part Two

This is the second part of my recent experience with subdividing my own property. The observations are real, not theoretical.

Words by Cain Built

North Shore Subdivision – Secondary Issues To Consider

This is the second part of my recent experience with subdividing my own property. The observations are real, not theoretical. If you have any subdividing plans, it pays to get real, expert advice and experience before you start down the track.

Previously we looked at the issues about the land and the services to it for subdividing on the North Shore. Now let’s look at some of the secondary subdividing issues.

Housing Density

In some areas, the Council wants to intensify the housing density. You might not be able to subdivide if there “are existing dwellings on the land” and the size of the plot is not sufficient for additional housing. However, in many cases, the land may have consent for additional homes.

Existing Titles Or Restrictions

In some cases, there may be restrictions around what is possible with existing titles. These might include unobstructed views for neighbours, driveway access for neighbours, building height limitations, and others.

Environmental Impact

Will the proposed subdivision have any other effects on the flora and fauna on the land? This can be an issue for property near waterways for example or with native trees.

What To Do About These Issues?

Expert Help

The first thing to do is to realise that you cannot do a subdivision yourself. People will need expert help for various parts of the process.

You will need a surveyor and an engineer to assess the suitability and size of the land itself and a lawyer to advise on the legal issues as to whether or not you can go ahead with the application.

You can also get a free 15-minute consultation with the Council to see if your project needs consents and permits.

If it is possible to subdivide, you will then need to hire a range of different professionals. A fuller list of professional services you will need can be found on this page for Auckland Council subdivision assistance.


Plan ahead and be patient. The process will take months. In some cases where the land is more difficult or there are neighbours close by, it can take more than a year to get consent to subdivide your land. There is little you can do to speed up the process.

You can slow down the process by being difficult, obstructive, or not communicating with other people involved, especially neighbours. You will need them on your side so be good to them and keep them informed of your progress.


The building itself will of course demand a lot of money but you will be surprised how much you need before you even turn any soil.

The various professional services, surveyors, engineers, lawyers, etc., you need to hire will cost a few thousand dollars.


Infrastructure and driveway or access costs will be considerable. Even if you only need to extend services to your property, you can expect significant costs. If the services need to be installed from fresh, that cost will be considerable.

Be prepared for shocks.

Council Payments

The Council will cost you money too

Not only will you have to pay for consent fees, and Development Contribution Fees. The Development Contribution Fees depend on what you intend to do and the impact on any existing dwellings. You can get an indication of your DCFs by clicking the link above.

Summing Up North Shore Subdivision

You will need to be resilient but flexible. There will be setbacks and unexpected costs but by being flexible you may be able to negotiate with your neighbours or the Council to overcome those problems.

Get the best expert help you can afford. These people will make the process much easier and take a lot of pressure of you. This is what they are paid to do so leave them to it.

Keep the vision. It will be difficult but if your vision is a good one, you will enjoy the rewards at the end. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

If you are thinking of subdividing your North Shore property, please contact me for some practical tips and advice. You can reach me on 0800 224 628 or if you prefer, you can email me at

Tim Cain, Director, Cain Built Ltd.

Recommended reading