Resource Management Act: RMA Link: Topics: Details

The RMAlink project aims to make community participation in all Resource Management Act processes more straightforward and less time-consuming. More effective participation from those with a concern for the environment will contribute towards improving environmental outcomes nationwide.

Topics: Details

Hosted by:

Wellington Community Network
Subject Subdivision

Text Subdivision
The Quality Planning website has guidance notes relating to this topic. They provide an extensive summary of relevant material, current references and case law.  


PCE (2001) Managing Change in Paradise; Sustainable Development in Peri-urban Areas.
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Wellington. 127p ISBN 1-877274-00-3
Discusses development pressures on peri-urban areas, where demand for rural-residential lifestyle blocks is high, and suburban greenfield developments on the urban fringe result in permanent change to rural areas and their ecosystem/landscape values.

MFE (2000) The Impact of Rural Subdivision and Development on Landscape Values. ME 354.
Ministry for the Environment, Wellington. 68p ISBN 0 478 09094 3
Describes a toolbox of planning techniques for managing the impacts of subdivision in rural settings. Discusses activity status (controlled, discretionary, non-complying), allotment sizes, clustering of buildings, transferable development rights, financial incentives. Very useful reading if you are submitting on a district plan.

Harris, R. (2004) Handbook of Environmental Law.
Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc. Wellington.
Pages 117-123 discuss subdivisions.

Williams D.A.R. (1997) Environmental and Resource Management Law in New Zealand, 2nd Edition.
Butterworths, Wellington ISBN 0-409-79014 1
Chapter 4, p121-174 Land Use and Subdivision, resource consent procedures and appeals.
Pages 136-153 of this chapter deal specifically with subdivisions. It outlines procedure for subdivision consents, and covers provisions relating to esplanade reserves and access strips.

Standards New Zealand (2003) NZS 4404:2003 Land Development and Subdivision Engineering.
Standards New Zealand, Wellington.
A code of practice for greenfield subdivision, including rural and urban housing, and commercial development. Performance-based guide on all aspects of land development, earthworks, roads, footpaths, water, wastewater, drainage, reserves, utilities, and landscape design. Anticipates innovative and flexible approaches to design, within the requirements of the RMA. Can be adopted in full by councils, or incorporated into a council's existing subdivision code.

Standards New Zealand (2001) SNZ HB 44:2001 Subdivision for People and the Environment.
Standards New Zealand, Wellington.
This handbook introduces concepts of design and technology used in eco-village and co-housing developments for inclusion into mainstream planning practice. It provides best practice guidelines for alternative subdivision design, including ecological solutions for managing grey water, waste water and stormwater drainage.

Journal Articles

Koshy, L. (2006)Potential Direct Effects on Biosecurity from Subdivision Development Activities
Planning Quarterly, March 2006 p18-21
Land development and subdivisions provide a route for the spread of new invasive weed species into an area or region, and are a biosecurity risk.

Thompson, I. (2005) Greenfield Plans Falter at the Implementation Stage
Planning Quarterly Dec. 2005, p2-5.
Rapid suburban growth on outskirts of Christchurch has exceeded councils ability to provide supporting infrastructure, particularly for stormwater. Discusses Christchurch Citys use of Area Plans as a tool for managing growth.

Prendergast, C. (2004) Funding the Infrastructure Required to Mitigate the Effects of Development
New Zealand Journal of Environmental Law, Vol 8, p327-359
Article looks at the various planning tools available under the RMA and Local Government Act to obtain funding for stormwater and other necessary infrastructure when land is subdivided and developed. Councils need to ensure that infrastructure provision keeps pace with land development. Considers power, water supply, roading, sewage and stormwater services.

Hutchison, C. and Sandbrook, J. (2004)Development Contributions Under the Local Government Act 2002
Planning Quarterly, September 2004, p16-18
Summary of Palmerston North's use of the Local Government Act to establish its new development contribution policy.

Palmer, K. A. (2000) Arrigato in the High Court: The Importance of Policy Statements
Resource Management Bulletin vol 3, p178.

Web-Based Resources

Resources: 'Plan Topics' has a comprehensive guidance note on how subdivision can be managed by provisions in plans. Another guidance note is entitled 'Introduction to Subdivisions'. includes case law, and a list of relevant publications.


Relevant Case Law