September Monthly Prize Draw Winner

The prize this month is a bottle of Trinity Hill Merlot and the winner is David Don, from Bruce Welsh Architects in Wellington! David, your bottle of wine is on the way to you this week, I hope a nice smooth merlot will help warm those cold Wellington nights!


We’ll announce the next winner early in October, so if you’d like to be in to win, please sign up for our monthly newsletter here, or tick the box when placing your next order.

A Step by Step guide to ordering a product from Cheap Titles

To purchase any product from Cheap Titles just follow the steps outlined below (these steps will principally demonstrate how you can purchase a Certificate of Title with Diagram – but additional notes have been provided as a guide for purchasing the other Cheap Title products that are available).

Step 1: Go to

Step 1: Go to

Step 1: Go to

Step 2: To purchase a Certificate of Title, click on the blue “Buy Now” button underneath the Certificate of Title product.
(Note: If you would like a different product, click SHOP on the menu (at the top of the page). This will take you to a page that illustrates all the products that are available to purchase. Click on the blue “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” buttons to select your chosen product.

Step 3: Select your delivery speed. Urgent products will be delivered to your email address within the hour (during operating hours). Overnight products will be delivered to your email address by 10am the following working day.

Step 4: Enter your property details. It is helpful to include the suburb and city or region, for example you might enter 15B White Street, Greenwich. If you do not have or know the property address the next best options are entering either the Legal Description which may look like Lot 56 DP 123456 or the CT number or Title Identifier which will look like NA12C/34 or SA56D/78 or another reference number such as 123456. If we are not able to locate the title in the system for the description that you have provided, we will give you a call or send you an email to obtain further information or to clarify the details you have provided.

Step 4: Enter your property details

Step 4: Enter your property details

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Tree Protection in Auckland: Interactive Map

This interactive map, from is quite a useful tool to visually identify trees that are in the process of being scheduled as notable trees within the Auckland District Plan.

The interactive map generally works best if you have a specific address or road name to input into the map, or you can get a general overview of where these trees are located by zooming in and out of this map.

Interactive Map - Tree Protection in Auckland

Interactive Map - Tree Protection in Auckland

The Cost of Parking – Article from

Between the Lines by Dave Gardetta, published on

You will need to sit down with a cuppa to read this article, as it is rather long, but I would recommend doing so. It raises some interesting points about both the economic and social costs of basement/car parking buildings and describes briefly the history and demand (in L.A) for these structures. Some of the salient points in the article, that are very relevant to the review and formation of District Plan rules here, point to the requirement of a minimum numbers of car parking spaces for any new development in over-providing for spaces and creating poor quality developments; that funds collected from meters could go to the immediate surrounding businesses and residents and that meter prices should reflect demand (electronic metering).

“It turned out that Pasadena, which didn’t mandate parking when its single-family bungalows were built in the 1920s, now required eight parking spots for a building where four people might live,” says Cole, a Shoupista who is now the city manager of Ventura. “Subterranean parking was too expensive, so a thing called ‘tuck-under’—or semisubterranean—parking was invented.” With tuck-under buildings, residents park half a story below street level and enter their entombed front doors from the garage. Everything is hidden from the street, including the residents who call it home. “Parking requirements,” says Cole, “had created whole communities of new blank walls that faced other blank walls. I hated it.”

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Compliance and/or Enforcement Issues under the Resource Management Act

Enforcement action -

Enforcement action is when (generally) councils take some form of action to ensure that people are complying with: the Resource Management Act, regulations, a resource consent, a requirement, with district/regional plans including proposed plans or if someone is not complying with their duty to avoid, remedy or mitigate environmental effects or to avoid making unreasonable noise.  Enforcement action is usually initiated by compliant(s) received by councils about a particular activity or structure.

Some of the most common types of enforcement action are: action taken for non-compliance’s with either a District or Regional Plan, for breaching the Resource Management Act or for breaching the conditions of an approved resource consent.

Breaching a District or Regional Plan:

A breach of a District or Regional Plan can be unintentional, when property owners or business owners are not aware of all relevant rules within plans. An example of a potential breach is if the Plan requires discretionary activity resource consent for the establishment of a childcare centre and no consent is obtained.

Breaching the Resource Management Act:

Common breaches of the Resource Management Act include contravening the duties within sections 16 and 17 of the Act. An example of a breach of the section 16 duty is undertaking or allowing an activity to be undertaken that exceeds a reasonable noise level. An example of a breach of the section 17 duty is undertaking or allowing an activity to be undertaken that creates adverse effects such as allowing rubbish, tyres and/or abandoned vehicles to create adverse amenity effects to the surrounding environment.

Breaching a Condition of an Approved Resource Consent:

A breach of an approved resource consent can be unintentional when new property owners or lease holders or business owners are not aware that there are resource consent conditions to be complied with. An example of this is where an activity such as a childcare centre has obtained resource consent to operate and the resource consent is subject to conditions regarding operating hours and maximum number of children (and/or staff).

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Proposed Plan Change 160 – Introduction of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy and Other Changes

Proposed Plan Change 160: Introduction of Helensville Residential Heritage Policy and Other Changes seeks to change the provisions of the Auckland Council District Plan (Rodney Section) to better protect heritage values and resources in the older residential areas of Helensville.

The Plan Change implements a policy area (the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area) that overlies existing zones of the District Plan (the Residential M zone) so that there are additional rules that apply to these areas (in addition to the zone rules). The are affected by the Proposed Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area is attached and is shown on the picture below:

The extent of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area

The extent of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area

Legend for the Extent of the Helensville Residenital Heritage Policy Area

Legend for the Extent of the Helensville Residential Heritage Policy Area

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What is a Certificate of Title? What are the Land Districts in New Zealand?

A Certificate of Title (which is also commonly referred to as: the Title, Land Title, CT and/or COT) is a legal document that identifies the legal owners of a property and also identifies the key facts in relation to the property, such as: land area, the legal description and any restrictions on the property (ie mortgages, encumbrances, covenants, easements, right of ways).

The Certificate of Title is identified by a number (called the land title number, identifier, certificate of title number or CT/COT number). This number will usually be a series of numbers such as 34567 or 897625 or it will look something like the following: WN516/98, OT17A/765, or MB23C/987. The first two letters denote the region in New Zealand where the title is located. This reference is the older way to identify a title, so new titles will usually be a series of numbers.

Land Districts - Land Registration Districts in New Zealand

Land Districts - Land Registration Districts in New Zealand

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The Different Activity Types (Status) of Resource Consent Applications

District and Regional Plans state whether an activity (such as building a house or establishing a child care centre) is permitted, meaning that you do not need a resource consent, or whether it requires a resource consent.

If a resource consent is required it will be classified by the Plan as a type or status (if the Plan does not explicitly state the type or status of consent required it may default to being the most complex type of resource consent, being a non-complying activity – but you can confirm that with us).

It is important to note that more than one rule applies to any activity – so even if your activity is permitted or is a certain type of resource consent, this can be modified by other rules in the District or Regional Plan. For example, a childcare centre of no more than 50 children may be a permitted activity as specified by the relevant Plan however, resource consent may be required pursuant to another rule in the District Plan for a car parking area that exceeds the allowable maximum impermeable paved surface rule.

Every council plan (and district plan zones) is different, so a childcare centre of less than 50 children may not be permitted in another suburb/area/district/region.
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Can I Subdivide My Site? – Former North Shore City Council District Plan Example

To work out if a site can be subdivided – or if a second residential dwelling or unit can be built on a property you first need to establish the zoning of the site and what the rules for the specific zone provide for.

There are also other restrictions to subdividing or constructing additional buildings on a site – including any limitations noted within the ‘Interests” of the relevant Certificate of Title or if there are capacity issues in servicing the site – i.e. water supply, storm water and waste connections). To discuss any of these additional restrictions and limitations contact us.

In this post, I have used an example from the former North Shore Council District Plan. Figure 1 below is a snapshot of land within the former North Shore City Council area that has a mix of different zones.

Figure 1: Zoning maps

Extract of a Zoning Map from the former North Shore City Area

Extract of a Zoning Map from the former North Shore City Area

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Auckland Council Consultation: Ian McKinnon Drive Cycleway and Walkway Improvement Project

As a resident of Eden Terrace in Central Auckland, I received a letter and plans from the Council regarding their proposed cycle and pedestrian path improvements in and around Ian McKinnon Drive. It seems the Council has their eye on this location for works to be undertaken prior to the World Cup.

Generally, I am supportive of any improvements to walking and cycling paths but I had a few issues with these particular modifications which included the extension of a cycle/pedestrian path along the western side of Ian McKinnon Drive – my reason being is that there is effectively no where to go – as Ian McKinnon Drive narrows as it heads north past Piwakawaka Street.

I would have thought that it would be better to upgrade the existing path along the eastern side of Ian McKinnon Drive as this has better connections to the existing cycle path etc. and would, I assume, cost less than the creation of a new path (and probably less disruptive for traffic as well).

So I drafted up an email with some comments to this effect and well …. my feedback went nowhere really as this is the ‘personal’ response that I got back from Auckland Council:

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