The Resource Management Act 1991 is the governing framework for subdivision in New Zealand.

The term ‘subdivision of land’ is defined in Section 218 and restrictions on the subdivision of land are outlined in Section 11. A subdivision can only be undertaken if it is:

  • Permitted by a National Environmental Standard and is shown on a survey plan;
  • Permitted by a rule in a district plan as well as a rule in a proposed district plan (if there is one) and is shown on a survey plan;
  • Approved by a resource consent and is shown on a survey plan;
  • Effected by the acquisition, taking, transfer, or disposal under the Public Works Act 1981;
  • Effected by the establishment, change, or cancellation of a reserve under the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993;
  • Effected by a transfer or resumption under the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986 ;
  • Effected by any vesting in or transfer or gift of any land to the Crown or any local authority or administering body under the Conservation Act 1987;
  • Effected by transfer or gift of any land under the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 or the Queen Elizabeth the Second National Trust Act 1977;
  • Effected by any transfer, exchange, or other disposition of land made under the Property Law Act 2007.