Freehold (Fee Simple) Subdivision

A fee simple subdivision is the subdivision of a fee simple title. It takes a fee simple title, with a single interest in a piece of land, and creates multiple new interests in that land, by changing property boundaries and creating new titles.

What is a fee simple title?

A fee simple title is the most common form of land ownership in New Zealand. It gives you exclusive ownership and use of the land held in your name. Your fee simple title describes the land the title in registered against, who the title is registered to, and any interest in that land. Interests in the land can include mortgages, easements, covenants and restrictions under the Resource Management Act 1991.

What is the fee simple subdivision process?

The process of subdividing land can be simplified into the following steps: consenting, construction, and completion.  


This stage of the process requires our team to put together a resource consent application to lodge with Auckland Council.

Our team will survey your potential Auckland subdivision and use it to prepare the development scheme plan. This will show the new lot boundaries and any easements that are necessary to service the development.

If new public works are required, our engineers will design the necessary infrastructure and prepare the associated plans and reports to support your resource consent application.

Our planners compile all the above information, as well as liaise with other professionals—such as architects—to prepare the consent for lodgement and assess the proposed development against the Auckland Unitary Plan.

What is the difference between a fee simple and freehold? 

Nothing! Free simple and freehold are one and the same. Fee simple titles were previously called freehold titles, so it is simply a turn of phrase that some people still use today.


Once consent is granted, the development will need to be constructed as per the approved plans and adhere to any conditions associated with the consent.

If there are any public works associated with the consent, our engineers will have to observe the construction to allow the necessary council signoff at the project’s completion. Our surveyors may also need to asbuilt any public works for council records.

Our surveyors will then peg the new boundaries as per the approved plans.


This stage of the process requires the compilation of all the necessary documentation to gain titles, as listed below.

  1. 223 Application is confirmation that the boundaries have been defined as per the approved scheme plan. Surveyors submit a copy of the title plan to be reviewed by the local council.

  2. Engineering Approval Completion Certificate (EACC) is acceptance from the council that all engineering works have been completed as per the approved plans. This also requires that the necessary certificates of acceptance be issued from the utility providers. On smaller projects this is often applied for as part of the 224c application.

  3. 224c Application is the acceptance that all conditions of consent have been adhered to and that council are happy to sign off on the development.

  4. Survey Plan Approval is gained when the survey plan is lodged with LINZ for review and acceptance.

  5. Titles issued. Once the survey plan and 224c have gained approval, your lawyers can lodge for titles with LINZ.

How long does it take to subdivide?

Because every project is unique, the time taken to subdivide varies greatly. The easiest way to determine the time it will take to complete your subdivision is to call our team for a free consultation and discuss your proposed development.

The two key factors when estimating time to completion are council processing times and construction times. However, as a minimum, you can expect a simple subdivision to take six months. 

How much does it cost to subdivide?

Subdivision costs are hugely variable. Our team can talk you through your development and give you a free fee proposal for the known costs.

For an in-depth feasibility of your site, we can investigate development options and estimate additional construction costs.


Known costs associated with all developments include:

  • Resource consent application

  • Construction, as a minimum provision for servicing the new site

  • Land Transfer Survey

  • Council processing fees and development contributions 

  • Lawyer’s fees for preparing and lodging titles

To find out more, talk to our team about your site’s potential today!

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