Land subdivision is one of the main specialist services provided by Bonisch Consultants.Having all the expertise in-house means that we can provide a one stop shop for the entire subdivision process, to help your project transition though each respective stage with ease.


Before you consider undertaking the process of land subdivision, we are happy to discuss your project with an initial no obligation free consultation.

If a decision is made to carry out further investigative work it will be done at a fee agreed to in advance. If the project viability is assured we then issue a written full cost breakdown and likely timeframe of each component to ensure you are fully informed from day one.

Types of Subdivision

Freehold Subdivision

Freehold or Fee Simple Subdivision, as it is sometimes referred to, is the most common type of land subdivision. The end result is a separate Certificate of Title for each new lot created, with the land solely owned by those named on the title.

Freehold subdivision can be undertaken in both rural and urban environments however there are various planning controls that are specific to each.

Urban - Urban controls are based around roading networks and reticulated services where most allotments are between 500-2000m2 in area. Urban subdivision is primarily undertaken either as a greenfield activity, to expand existing urban areas, or as an infill activity, where existing residential sections are subdivided to create several smaller allotments.

At Bonisch Consultants we pride ourselves on logical but creative subdivision design, ensuring our projects are at the forefront of best practice urban design

Rural - Rural subdivisions tend to involve larger blocks of land where the process is required to accommodate retirement (the ‘ten acre block’), farm amalgamations or to assist with succession planning.

The team at Bonisch Consultants have an excellent knowledge of the relevant rules pertaining to subdivision in the rural environment and can quickly clarify any queries you may have about your project.

Cross Lease Subdivision

Although once commonplace, Cross Lease is now generally considered an inferior form of subdivision as, whilst the buildings are individually owned, the land on which the buildings sit is jointly owned by all parties registered in the Cross Lease subdivision.

Historically cross lease afforded more flexibility in complying with council rules than a freehold subdivision. However nowadays there is minimal advantage as the freehold subdivision requirements are near identical.

If you already own a cross lease property, in most instances this can be converted to a freehold title. Our team of experts will be happy to assist you with this process.

Unit Title Subdivision

Unit Title is a form of subdivision that typically relates to properties that are joined together in some way, e.g. an apartment block or a high density retirement village.

In each case a body corporate is set up to administer the property, including maintaining all exterior and interior common property.

Key components of the Subdivision Process

Scheme Plan

Once the feasibility and type of subdivision is confirmed, a scheme plan of the proposal is drafted which details necessary information such as new boundary locations, proposed roading and servicing layouts. This plan typically contains topographical information that can also be used for any further house design work or for any engineering design that may be required.

Resource Consents

A written resource consent application is then submitted to council along with the scheme plan detailing how the subdivision proposal complies with the relevant planning controls. Also submitted is an assessment of effects, which details how the subdivision proposal will impact on the surrounding environment.

Please refer to our Resource Management & Planning page which provides more information on the Resource Management Act, or check out our website.

Engineering Design

The servicing and access for new lots created as a result of subdivision forms a key component of the approval process.

For smaller subdivisions a Scheme Plan is sufficient but for larger subdivisions council may require draft engineering documentation detailing the feasibility of servicing each allotment.

Bonisch Consultants ensure that any design work undertaken as part of resource consent can ultimately be used as final documentation for construction purposes. This removes the need for costly rework.

Project Management

From the day your project is ‘go’, Bonisch Consultants allocates a key contact person charged with managing your project through the subdivision process. Updates of where your project is at are emailed regularly and individual project meetings are held to ensure everything is on track.

Cadastral Surveying

Once subdivision resource consent has been issued, the process of undertaking a land transfer or cadastral survey can begin.

This process involves defining the original parcel of land utilising historical survey information, before pegging the new allotments proposed. The survey information is then lodged with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to ultimately become the basis upon which the new titles are produced.


Subdivision resource consents are issued with a number of conditions that must be completed before new titles can be issued.

Often costs that have been incurred during the process are starting to mount up, so a timely and efficient compliance process is important to ensure title can be raised and any pending transfers or sales realised. Our internal QA processes will ensure your project makes it successfully over the line.

Legal Liaison

Once compliance signoff is achieved and all survey information lodged with LINZ, the process of creating new certificates of title can be undertaken by a solicitor.

We liaise closely with your solicitor to ensure all necessary documentation is provided to them in advance, in order to make the title process as quick and easy as possible.

For other related services we provide please refer to our Resource Management & Planning, Surveying and Land Development pages.

Download our Land Subdivision insert as a page

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