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Unit plans

Guidance on meeting the requirements of the Cadastral Survey Rules 2021 (CSR 2021), Unit Titles Act 2010 (UTA 2010) and Landonline capture for all types of unit plans.

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Unit Titles Act 2010

Unit plans are prepared for the purposes of the Unit Titles Act 2010 The (UTA 2010) which came into force on 20 June 2011, repealing the Unit Titles Act 1972.

Unit Titles Act 2010 

The purpose of the UTA 2010 is to provide a legal framework for the ownership and management of land and associated buildings and facilities on a socially and economically sustainable basis by communities of individual owners and, in particular:

  1. to allow for the subdivision of land and buildings into unit title developments comprising units that are owned in stratum estate in freehold or stratum estate in leasehold or licence by unit owners, and common property that is owned by the body corporate on behalf of the unit owners; and
  2. to create bodies corporate, which comprise all unit owners in a development, to operate and manage unit title developments; and
  3. to establish a flexible and responsive regime for the governance of unit title developments; and
  4. to protect the integrity of the development as a whole. 

(from s 3 UTA 2010). 

The UTA 2010 provides for the following types of unit title developments:

Key terms

Accessory Unit (AU) - a unit that is designed for use with any principal unit (including, without limitation, a garden, garage, car parking space, storage space, swimming pool, laundry, stairway, or passage) and that is shown on a unit plan as an accessory unit (s 5(1) UTA 2010)

Body Corporate - an entity made up of all the unit owners in a unit title development that has responsibility for a variety of financial, management and administrative tasks and owns the common property.

Car Park - A space for parking a single motor vehicle (s 5(1) UTA 2010).

Common property - land and facilities in a unit title development, which are not contained in a principal unit, accessory unit, or future development unit, and are shared by the unit owners. Any access lot or share of an access lot associated with the base land is part of the common property (s 55 UTA 2010). The common property is owned by the body corporate of a unit title development. The owners of all the units are beneficially entitled to the common property in shares proportional to their respective ownership interest (or proposed ownership interest in the case of FDUs) (s 54 UTA 2010).

Future Development Unit (FDU) - in relation to a subdivision of land or a principal unit into units in stages, means a unit shown on a stage unit plan that is proposed to be developed or subdivided into 1 or more principal units (with or without accessory units or common property) at a later stage of the development.

Ownership Interest - the interest assigned to a unit by a registered valuer based on the relative value of the unit in relation to each of the other units in a unit title development. The interest is used to determine, amongst other things, a unit owner’s share in common property and in the base land upon cancellation.

Permanent Structure Boundary (PSB) - a boundary related to a building or recognisable physical structure that is likely to remain undisturbed for 50 years or more, or the outline of a future development unit, in accordance with schedule 2 CSR 2021.

Principal Unit (PU) - a unit designed for use as a place of residence or business or any other use, and that is identified on a unit plan as a principal unit. A principal unit must either contain a building or be a car park.

Height Limited Boundary - a boundary that defines the upper or lower extent of a parcel by a surface that is mathematically described where at least one point has a reduced level. (r 12 CSR 2021).

Stratum Estate - the freehold or leasehold estate created upon deposit of a unit plan in each principal unit, each accessory unit, and each FDU on that plan, comprising the estates and beneficial interests as set out in sections 18, 22 or 27 of UTA 2010. (That is, the bundle of legal rights applying to the unit (s 4(1)(b)(vii) UTA 2010)).

Supplementary Record Sheet (SRS) – a record that is created in Landonline when a unit plan is deposited on which is noted:

  • that the body corporate owns the common property; and
  • that the owners of all the units are beneficially entitled to the common property as tenants in common in equal shares proportional to their ownership interest; and
  • all instruments that are registered and that affect the base land and the common property; and
  • all other matters that, in accordance with UTA 2010, the Unit Title Regulations 2011, and other Acts, have to be noted on the SRS.

Unit - in relation to any land, unit means a part of the land consisting of a space of any shape situated below, on, or above the surface of the land, or partly in one such situation and partly in another or others, all the dimensions of which are limited, and that is designed for separate ownership (s 5(1) UTA 2010).

Unit Plan - a plan that has been, or is intended to be, deposited under the Land Transfer Act 2017 in accordance with UTA 2010, and includes: a proposed unit development plan; a stage unit plan; a complete unit plan; a unit plan amended in accordance with this Act; a plan that has been or is intended to be deposited in substitution for an existing unit plan (s 5(1) UTA 2010).

Unit Title Development - the individual units and common property comprising a stratum estate (s 5(1) UTA 2010).

Base land requirements

Base land means the underlying parcel or parcels of land that are subdivided into a unit title development, including an access lot or share in an access lot associated with that land. Any land or share in land added to the common property of a unit title development becomes part of the base land. In relation to a subsidiary unit title development, base land means the land from which its head unit title development was subdivided.

Title requirements 

The base land must be held in one record of title or capable of being held in one record of title (s 32(1)(b) & s33(1) UTA 2010). This means that if there is more than one record of title for the base land, they must be for the same type of estate (freehold, leasehold, etc) and held in the same ownership. The base land must be the whole of the land in that record of title or titles (s 32(1)(c) UTA 2010), including any share in an access lot contained in the record of title(s). 

Note - if the base land title refers to being for “surface only” the minerals (sub-surface) could be reserved to the Crown or held in a separate title by a different owner. These situations may not meet the criteria of being held in one title and advice should be sought to ascertain whether the unit development will be affected by it. (See DP 485904)

Qualified Record of Title – section 32(1)(a) UTA 2010 prohibits the deposit of a unit plan over base land that is held in a qualified record of title under the Land Transfer Act 2017.

Limited Title - the record of title(s) for the base land must be free from all limitations as to parcels or title. Any limitations must be removed before the unit plan can deposit (s 32(1)(a) UTA 2010).

Interim Title - UTA 2010 does not expressly prohibit the deposit of a unit plan if the base land has a Hawke’s Bay interim record of title. However, s 32(1)(a) UTA 2010 indicates that the title to the base land should be conclusive before a unit development is established on it. Therefore, the interim nature of the record of title must be removed before a unit plan can deposit.

Diagram on Transfer - a unit development is permitted where a boundary of the base land has been defined in a diagram on transfer providing the appropriate accuracy standards of CSR 2021 can be met (see Survey Accuracy Requirements below).

Survey accuracy requirements 

Any boundary of the base land, where its extent and location as defined in an approved Cadastral Survey Dataset (CSD) are insufficient for the determination of its compliance with the accuracy standards of rule 27 CSR 2021, must be first redefined and included in a new primary parcel (rules 13 & 35 CSR 2021). This includes underlying affected boundaries distorted by ground movement (r 109(1) and r 110(4)).  

Common marine and coastal area or esplanade reserves

If any part of the base land of a unit title development is in the coastal marine area, a separate Land Transfer (LT) Subdivision CSD showing that land as Common Marine and Coastal Area must be approved before a unit plan can be submitted for approval under Section 223 Resource Management Act 1991.

Similarly, if any part of the base land of a unit title development is required to vest as Esplanade Reserve, a separate LT Subdivision CSD showing that area of reserve to vest must be approved before a unit plan can be submitted for approval under Section 223 Resource Management Act 1991. 

See s 237A Resource Management Act 1991

Standard unit title developments

A standard unit title development, or standard unit development, is a subdivision of land into units and common property (if any) in a single stage that is not a layered unit title development. (Note, this is different from ‘Standard Unit Title Development’ defined in section 5(1) of UTA 2010 as any unit title development that is not part of a layered unit title development, and therefore includes a stage unit title development).     

A standard unit plan shows the subdivision of a parcel of land to create a standard unit development, which will include:

  • Two or more principal units, and
  • The number of accessory units (if any) as required, and
  • The remainder of the land not comprised in any unit as common property.

A standard unit plan must show the complete development of the base land all on one plan and must not show any FDUs.

Example: DP 459270

Refer to CSD requirements for unit plans 

Stage unit title developments

A stage unit title development, or stage unit development, is the subdivision of land that is completed in stages by the successive deposit of:

  • a Proposed Unit Development (PUD) plan and a First Stage Unit Plan together, and
  • one or more further Stage Unit Plans (if any), and
  • a complete unit plan (called Complete Stage Unit Plan in Landonline).

(s 24(2) UTA 2010)

Note: a Substituted Proposed Unit Development plan may also be introduced in a stage development.

A PUD Plan shows the proposed layout of all the units and the whole of the common property (if any) that will comprise the development when it is completed (s 25(1) UTA 2010).

A First Stage Unit Plan or a Stage Unit Plan shows:

  • Each unit and each part of the common property (if any) that has so far been completed up to and including that stage of the development; and
  • The uncompleted portion of the development as one or more FDUs (s 25(2) UTA 2010).

A Future Development Unit is a unit that is proposed to be subdivided into one or more principal units, with or without accessory units or common property, at a later stage of the development. It is not possible to prepare a First Stage Plan comprised entirely of FDUs.

A Complete Stage Unit Plan shows all the principal and accessory units and the whole of the common property comprised in a completed stage unit development.

The complete (final) stage of a stage unit development is where all of the remaining FDUs will be developed into units and common property (if any).

The Complete Stage Unit Plan will be deposited in substitution for the previously deposited Stage Unit Plan.

Examples:  DP 443739/A (PUD Plan), DP 447255/B (First Stage Unit Plan), DP 435100/C (Stage Unit Plan), and DP 436223 (Complete Stage Unit Plan).

Refer to CSD requirements for unit plans 

Substituted proposed unit development plans

A Substituted Proposed Unit Development (SPUD) Plan is a new PUD plan that replaces an existing PUD plan when undeveloped and developed units in a stage unit development are being altered. The new PUD plan shows all the proposed principal and accessory units and common property making up the entire development, incorporating changes to any units or common property (this could be either created or proposed).

A SPUD is used when the owners of a staged unit development want to change the development before the complete stage unit plan has been deposited. There are four scenarios where a SPUD is required:

  • when the undeveloped portion of an uncompleted stage unit development is being changed (i.e. affects existing FDUs only)
  • when completed units in an uncompleted stage unit development are being redeveloped under Sections 65-71 Unit Titles Act 2010
  • when part of the common property of an uncompleted stage unit development is being transferred out of the development
  • when land from outside the unit development is being added to the common property of an uncompleted stage unit development
  • when land in an incomplete stage unit development is acquired by proclamation under the Public Works Act 1981.

Any combination of the above scenarios may occur at the same time.

When there is a redevelopment of existing units or common property part way through a stage unit development, both a redevelopment plan and a SPUD are required (s 64 UTA 2010).

A SPUD does not have to be accompanied by a Stage Unit Plan. Once a SPUD has deposited, any subsequent stage unit plans must be drawn in accordance with the new PUD.

A SPUD cannot be used on its own to:

  • change developed units or common property within an existing development (the proper plan to do this is a Redevelopment Plan or Simple Redevelopment Plan); or
  • change the extent of common property by adding land to or removing land from the base land (the proper plan to do this is a unit plan in substitution).

Subsidiary and layered unit title developments

A subsidiary unit title development, or subsidiary development, is the subdivision of an existing principal unit and any associated accessory units, into new principal units with their associated accessory units and common property (if any).

A head unit title development, or head development, is the unit title development created when the base land (fee simple or leasehold) was first subdivided.

A layered unit title development, or layered development, is a grouping of unit title developments in which there is one head unit title development and at least one subsidiary development.

A parent unit title development, or parent development, is the unit title development that contains the principal unit that was subdivided to create the subsidiary unit title development.

Each subsidiary development may be used for different purposes, such as retail, commercial, or residential. To manage the different functions, each subsidiary development has its own body corporate which can make rules that best suit the function of the subsidiary development.

If a principal unit that is being subdivided has an accessory unit and both units are included on the same record of title, both the principal unit and the whole accessory unit must be subdivided to create a single subsidiary unit title development (s 20(2) UTA 2010).

Each layer in a layered development may support more than one subsidiary unit development. However, only one subsidiary development may be created out of each principal unit and its associated accessory units (if any).

In a two-layer development, the head and parent development will be one and the same. However, any principal unit on a subsidiary development can itself be subdivided into another subsidiary, in which case it becomes the parent of the next subsidiary.

Existing common property cannot be subdivided in a subsidiary unit development.

A subsidiary development may subdivide a principal unit (and its associated accessory units) in an already developed stage of a stage unit development (the parent development) prior to the completion of the subsequent stages. In such cases, the subsequent stage plans of the parent development would need to annotate that the subdivided units are subject to a subsidiary development, for example, PU 1 (subject to subsidiary DP 456789).

A subsidiary development may be created in one stage or in multiple stages. The respective requirements for standard unit developments and stage unit developments apply, as appropriate.

Refer to:
Standard unit title developments
Stage unit title developments 

Subsidiary Standard Unit Plan is the Landonline survey purpose for a standard unit plan of a subsidiary development.

Examples:  DP 444815, DP 444148 & DP 444149

A Subsidiary Staged Unit Development is effected by the successive deposit of:

  • a Subsidiary Proposed Unit Development (Subsidiary PUD) Plan and a First Stage Unit Plan together, and
  • one or more further Stage Unit Plans (if any), and
  • a complete unit plan (called Complete Stage Unit Plan in Landonline).

Subsidiary PUD Plan is the Landonline survey purpose for a PUD plan of a subsidiary unit title development that is developed in more than one stage.

Note: a SPUD Plan may also be introduced in a subsidiary stage development.

Refer to Substituted Proposed Unit Development Plans

Examples:  See DP 471401 and DP 471401/A 

Refer to CSD requirements for unit plans 

Redevelopments

A redevelopment is an amendment to one or more developed units, or the common property, on a deposited unit plan for a completed unit title development or a completed stage of a stage unit development, and that does not add or remove land from the base land. 

(See section 8 UTA 2010 for the full ‘Meaning of Redevelopment’).

Redevelopments can be made in relation to:

  • standard unit developments
  • subsidiary unit title developments
  • developed stages of uncompleted stage unit developments (standard or subsidiary)
  • completed stage unit developments (standard or subsidiary).

There are two types of redevelopment. These are:

  • those requiring an amendment to a unit plan only (ss 65-67 UTA 2010), referred to as a simple redevelopment
  • those requiring the deposit of a new unit plan, which are usually referred to as a standard or complex redevelopment (ss 68-71 UTA 2010).

If a redevelopment affects units on the developed portion of an uncompleted Stage Unit Development, a Substituted Proposed Unit Development (SPUD) Plan replacing the existing Proposed Unit Development (or a previous SPUD) plan is required in addition to a redevelopment unit plan.

Simple redevelopment unit plan 

Simple redevelopment unit plan is the Landonline survey purpose for a unit plan of a simple redevelopment. It is a new, separate plan from the existing unit plan, but its purpose is to amend an existing unit plan, rather than completely replace it.

A simple redevelopment must consist solely of the adjustment of vertical or horizontal boundaries between developed units and must not alter common property.

The number of units existing after the redevelopment must be the same as the number of units before.

Note that a simple redevelopment cannot materially affect the use, enjoyment or ownership interest of any unit not having its boundary adjusted. Whether or not there is a material effect has to be determined by the body corporate of the unit development. A simple redevelopment plan will not be able to deposit without the necessary certificates confirming this (ss 65(1)(b), 65(4) & 67(1) UTA 2010).

Examples:  DP 86975 (Wellington) & DP 103496 (North Auckland)

Redevelopment unit plan 

Redevelopment unit plan is the Landonline survey purpose for a unit plan of a redevelopment that requires a new plan in substitution for an existing unit plan under section 68 of UTA 2010 (such as a standard or complex redevelopment).

This type of redevelopment alters the developed units and/or common property shown on an existing unit plan to create new units and/or common property.

There are many possible scenarios, including:

  • the adjustment of the vertical or horizontal boundaries between developed units and/or common property
  • the reduction of the number of units
  • the creation of additional units out of common property or out of a mixture of developed units and common property
  • the conversion of a unit or units into common property.

Examples:  DP 304451, LT 449347

Refer to CSD requirements for unit plans 

Adding or removing land from unit title development

The addition of land to or removal of land from an existing unit title development can be achieved either by a subdivision under the Resource Management Act 1991, or by transfer or proclamation under the Public Works Act 1981. In every situation, an addition or removal of land involves dealing with common property.

The addition or removal of land may affect both common property and units within a development.  However, it is not possible to remove part of a unit from a unit title development, or to add land from outside of the development to an existing unit, without the affected land first being added to or removed from the common property. For instance, if a portion of land, that comprises part of a unit and part of the common property of an existing unit title development, is to be sold to an adjoining landowner, the land within the unit would first have to be transferred into the common property, and then the common property could be transferred to the adjoining owner.

The body corporate, after special resolution to do so, may:

  • sell the whole or any part of the common property (s 56(3) UTA 2010)
  • grant a lease or license over common property (s 56(1) UTA 2010), or
  • acquire an interest in land outside the base land to add to the common property (s 58(1) U TA 2010)

Unit plan in substitution

Units plan in substitution is the Landonline survey purpose for a unit plan prepared to replace an existing unit plan, where the extents of the common property are being changed by adding land to or removing land from the base land.

Example Plans and associated dealings are:

  • DP 66160 (South Auckland), Dealing 9196806 – see also SO 450284
  • DP 84206 (Wellington), Dealing 8875944 – see also SO 429002
  • DP 68792 (Wellington), Dealing 8416134 – see also SO 341776
  • LT 25902/C (Otago) – see also DP 451942 & LT 25902

Refer to CSD requirements for unit plans  

Adding land to common property       

A body corporate (but not a subsidiary body corporate) can acquire land from outside the Unit Title Development (including an access lot or a share in an access lot) as common property. The land is included in the common property once it has been transferred.

The transfer must be accompanied by a new unit plan in substitution for the existing unit plan (s 59(1) UTA 2010).

If the land to be added to the common property is only a portion of an existing parcel, then a LT subdivision or survey office (SO) legalisation plan will be required to first create a separate parcel capable of being transferred to the body corporate.

The estate of the land being added to the common property must be compatible with the estate of the common property.

If the land to be included is a share in an access lot (with the other shares in the access lot remaining outside the development), then this is to be shown as common property on the Unit Plan complete with the appellation and share interest.

There is no requirement that land added to common property be contiguous to it, such as land across the road for car parking.

Removing land from common property 

A body corporate (but not a subsidiary body corporate) can transfer the whole or part of the common property to become land outside the unit title development and cease to be stratum estate.

The transfer must be accompanied by a new unit plan in substitution for the existing unit plan (s 57(1) UTA 2010).

An LT subdivision or SO legalisation plan of the base land must be also be carried out. The plan will show a parcel for the land being removed and a parcel for the land that will remain as the base land for the unit title development. 

Uncompleted stage unit developments           

Land can be added to or removed from an uncompleted stage unit development, but the substituted unit plan will consist of two plans (ss 57(3)(a) & 59(2)(a) UTA 2010).

If the next stage is not being developed immediately, then a SPUD plan and a Unit Plan in Substitution for the previous stage are required.

If the next stage is being developed immediately, then a SPUD plan and Stage Unit Plan for the next stage are required.

In either case, both plans must show the final effect of the addition or removal of land on the common property.

Public Works Act 1981        

The Public Works Act 1981 (the PWA) can be used to acquire part of a unit and/or common property. This is usually achieved by a proclamation published in a Gazette Notice (i.e. a legalisation or statutory action) acquiring part of a unit and/or part of the Common Property, although this does not preclude a unit owner or the body corporate from executing a transfer in favour of the acquiring entity (acquisition by agreement).

Section 15 of the UTA 2010 clarifies the relationship between the PWA and the UTA 2010, and allows the Registrar-General of Land to give effect to the acquisition of land under the PWA, whether the land is already common property, is in a unit, or is a mixture of both. It provides that in any situation where body corporate consent or resolution is usually required, that consent or resolution is not required when the acquisition is done by proclamation under the PWA.

Where a legalisation action takes the whole or any part of a unit and/or common property:

  • A LT or SO plan must define both the portion of the underlying parcel to be removed from the unit title development, the remainder of that underlying parcel and any existing easements that are over the base land.
  • A Units Plan in Substitution must also be lodged in all cases. This plan must show all existing easements which are over the base land and any units or common property.
  • If the legalisation action acquires part of a unit the balance of the unit should be redefined on the unit plan as a new ‘whole’ unit with a new appellation unless the balance of the unit is otherwise dealt with (e.g. is involved with a complex redevelopment).
  • Although the Crown or Local Authority acquires part of a stratum estate (in the unit or common property), that estate ‘changes’ during the acquisition to become fee simple (unless the Gazette Notice provides otherwise).
  • Acquisition of all or part of a unit or common property from an uncompleted staged unit development will require a Unit Plan in Substitution for the current Stage Unit Plan and a SPUD Plan.

Public Works Act 1981

Combining unit plans

There are situations where it may be acceptable to combine different types of unit plans in one CSD.

In all instances, advice must be sought from Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to confirm that a combined plan is acceptable, what the survey purpose and dataset description should be, and what, if any, additional plans are required to deposit in conjunction with the combined plan.

All combined plans must clearly depict the essential information required for each type of plan being combined.

Easements and covenants

Easements and covenants may affect the base land, common property and/or units of a unit title development. Different provisions and requirements apply depending on whether an easement or covenant is registered before or after the unit title development is created.

Existing easements and covenants that burden or benefit the base land remain unaffected by the deposit of a unit plan (s 60(1) UTA 2010). These easements and covenants are recorded on the supplementary record sheet for the unit title development, but are not recorded on any record of title for a unit (s 60(2) UTA 2010).

The body corporate of a unit title development may vary, surrender, or assign any existing easement or vary or revoke any existing covenant that affects the base land (s 61(1) UTA 2010).

New easements and covenants that burden or benefit the base land can only be registered before the unit title development is created, or after it has been cancelled.

New easements and covenants that burden or benefit common property may be granted, acquired or entered into by the body corporate of a unit title development (s 62 UTA 2010).

New easements and covenants that burden or benefit a unit may be granted, acquired or entered into by the owner of the unit. (s 63 UTA 2010).

When a unit title development is cancelled the effect of the cancellation is to:

  • cancel every easement or covenant over or appurtenant to any unit (s 180(2)(d) & s 181(2)(c));
  • preserve easements or covenants that existed over the base land prior to the creation of the stratum estate (s 180(2)(b)); and
  • preserve easements or covenants that affect only the common property and do not affect units (s 180(2)(c) & s 181(2)(b)).

Refer to CSD requirements for easements and covenants on unit plans  

Unit plans in areas of ground movement 

New unit title developments

Where ground movement has distorted the base land of a new unit title development by more than the relevant accuracy tolerances in rule 27, the affected boundaries must be defined by survey, marked and a new underlying parcel created before any unit title records of title can be issued (r 108, r 109(1) & r 110(4) CSR 2021). This requirement applies throughout the country, including greater Christchurch.

Existing unit title developments   

Where a new unit plan replaces an existing unit plan, for example, a subsequent stage unit plan in a staged development, rule 110(2) requires an underlying parcel boundary that has moved due to Canterbury earthquake movement to be defined by survey and marked if a new unit or common property boundary coincides with or intersects it. Other affected underlying parcel boundaries may be accepted (r 110(5) CSR 2021). 

The redefinition of the affected boundary may be recorded on the new unit plan (r 111 CSR 2021). This allows the relevant records of title to be updated.

Rule 111 does not apply to any ground movement outside of greater Christchurch or to ground movement in greater Christchurch that did not result from the Canterbury earthquake sequence. However, replacement unit plans in these circumstances are likely to be rare. If this situation arises, advice should be sought from LINZ.

Height-limited boundaries

Height-limited boundaries are not affected boundaries where there has been uniform uplift or subsidence of the ground surface over the full horizontal extent of the boundary. This is the case even where the boundary has moved in a vertical direction that is different to vertical movement affecting related PRMs. 

CSD requirements for unit plans

General requirements

A Unit Plan must:

  • define the boundaries of the units and common property in accordance with CSR 2021
  • specify which of the new units are Principal Units, Accessory Units or Future Development Units and label each of them with a unique identifier, being a number which may (but need not) be followed by a letter, or a letter which must be followed by a number (r 43 & 45 CSR 2021).
  • clearly depict the location of unit and common property boundaries and their relationships to other boundaries that are required to be shown on the plan. This is likely to require cross section diagrams to show relationships in the vertical dimension (rr 83, 86, 97, 98, 101 & 102 CSR 2021)
  • label all portions of the common property as “Common Property” with no identifier (r 43 & r 45 CSR 2021).

The Survey Diagram and Title Diagram may show the parcel appellation in abbreviated form, for example, PU 4A or Unit 4A (r 83(c) & r 97(3)(b) CSR 2021).

If the base land includes an access lot or a share of an access lot, then the entire access lot parcel must be depicted on the Unit plan, along with its appellation and share interest, and be labelled as common property. The dataset description of the Unit Plan must also include the appellation of the access lot (see DP 369528).

A principal unit must either contain a building or part of a building, or be contained in a building, or be a car park.

Every unit must be a single contiguous space defined in three dimensions (that is, with horizontal and vertical limits). A unit must be defined in its horizontal extent by the types of boundary specified in rule 46(1) CSR 2021. Permanent structure boundaries are most commonly used, but right-line and arc boundaries are also common. The vertical extent of a unit must be defined by either a height-limited boundary or a permanent structure boundary (r 46(2) CSR 2021).

Each unit boundary must only be defined using one type of boundary. For instance: the same horizontal boundary must not be defined by a right-line boundary and a permanent structure boundary; the same vertical boundary must not be defined by a height-limited boundary and a permanent structure boundary.

Where an existing unit plan is replaced by a new unit plan (for example, PUD by SPUD, Stage Unit Plan by Complete Stage Unit Plan, Unit Plan by Redevelopment Plan or Unit Plan in Substitution) the definition of unchanged unit boundaries must be consistent with their definition on the unit plan being replaced. For a boundary to be defined consistently it does not have to be defined by the same type of boundary as on the unit plan being replaced, but the survey report for the new unit plan must confirm that the spatial location and extent of the boundary has not changed. For instance, a height-limited boundary can be converted to a permanent structure boundary, but it must be evident that the boundary has not moved. Any variation to the location or extent of a unit must be treated as a redevelopment.

Where an existing unit plan is replaced by a new unit plan, any height-limited boundaries of new units must have reduced levels expressed in the same terms as those on the existing unit plan (r 62(1) CSR 2021).

Further information on definition and witnessing of height-limited and permanent structure boundaries is available at:

Dataset description 

The dataset description on the CSD must include the survey purpose and the appellation of the land under survey (r 71(c) CSR 2021) (for example, Units on Lot 1 DP 12345; Redevelopment of Units 10A and 10B).

The dataset description will automatically display on each system-generated sheet (if any) of the Title Diagram, but should also be shown on each plan graphic sheet of the Title Diagram for the purposes of clarity (r 107 CSR 2021).

Line types

The boundaries of principal, accessory and future development units, and common property must be thick solid lines on the Title Diagram.  Proposed Unit boundaries must be thick dashed lines (Schedule 7 clause 3 CSR 2021).

Any lines depicting occupation (buildings, fences, and so on) must be clearly distinguishable from the line types specified in Schedule 7 clause 3 CSR 2021.

Additional requirements for PUD and SPUD plans

A PUD plan must be accompanied by a First Stage Unit Plan. However, the PUD plan must be submitted first so that the proposed units on the PUD can then be created, as applicable, on the First Stage plan. Landonline will only allow a First Stage Unit Plan to be submitted if a PUD plan has been previously submitted.

A PUD plan must show all the proposed units and all the proposed common property that will comprise the unit title development when it is completed (s 25(1) UTA 2010). However, the PUD plan is not defining parcels in terms of the CSR 2021, so the boundaries of proposed units may be shown indicatively since an accurate definition of unit boundaries cannot usually be made until the structures they relate to have been constructed. Nevertheless, the PUD plan must clearly depict the horizontal and vertical extent of all parcels, which may require the use of cross section diagrams.

A SPUD plan must show all the proposed principal units, accessory units and common property within a development, including those that have already been developed. There must not be any FDUs.

The unchanged units and common property (proposed or existing) shown on a SPUD must be consistent with their definition on the PUD and will retain the same appellations.

Existing developed units and common property must be retained unaltered on a SPUD unless there is a simultaneous redevelopment or addition/subtraction to the common property occurring.

Any new proposed unit shown on a SPUD resulting from an alteration to an existing PUD must have a new unique parcel appellation that complies with rules 43 and 45 CSR 2021 and not already used in the stage unit development.

Additional requirements for stage unit plans (including first stage and complete stage unit plans)

Stage unit plans must show each unit and each part of the common property (if any) that has been completed so far. Any undeveloped land must be shown as one or more future development units (FDUs).

Each FDU must include at least one proposed principal unit that was shown on the PUD plan and may also include proposed accessory units and proposed common property.  A FDU must not consist solely of proposed accessory units or proposed common property. These proposed units and common property are not required to be shown within a FDU on the stage unit plan, but if they are shown they must be consistent with their depiction on the PUD plan.

The external definition of boundaries of FDUs on stage unit plans must be consistent with their initial definition on a prior stage unit plan. Unless otherwise constricted by developed principal or accessory units or primary parcel height-limited boundaries, FDUs are not obliged to depict upper or lower limits. Upper or lower limits can be shown if desired. Horizontal extents of an FDU can extend to the boundaries of the base land, boundaries of developed PUs and AUs, Common Property and other existing FDUs. Definition of the common boundary is required where two FDUs coincide. PSBs defining FDUs can only be used where the referenced permanent structures have been erected. 

Complete stage unit plans must show each unit and each part of the common property (if any) that makes up the completed stage unit development. No FDUs can be shown.

The definition of boundaries of completed units and common property shown on stage unit plans must be consistent with their depiction on the PUD or the latest substituted PUD and prior stage unit plans.

Where a unit title development has commenced under previous regulations, subsequent stages of that development must continue to use the appellations depicted on the Proposed Unit Development Plan (r 42(3)).  

Additional requirements for subsidiary unit plans

A subsidiary standard unit plan must:

  • identify the existing principal unit and its associated accessory units (that is the parent units) that are being subdivided
  • show the spatial relationship of the new units to the parent units, and show any abuttals, including adjoining existing units and common property.
  • show the relationship of the subsidiary development to each existing unit development in the entire layered development. This can be done by means of a diagram, as shown in Examples 2 and 3 of Schedule 1 of UTA 2010. The diagram must include the deposited plan reference of each Parent and Subsidiary Development.

Additional requirements for redevelopment unit plans

A Simple Redevelopment Unit Plan must:

  • define the boundaries of the adjusted units, and
  • specify which of the adjusted units are Principal Units or Accessory Units and label each of them with an identifier (number which may (but need not) be followed by a letter, or a letter which must be followed by a number) not already used on the previous unit plan.

The Title Diagram only needs to show the adjusted (new) units. Adjoining unaffected units and common property are shown as abuttals.

Existing common property must not be altered in either the horizontal or vertical extents.

A Redevelopment Unit Plan must:

  • define the boundaries of the new and adjusted units and/or common property
  • specify which of the new and adjusted units are Principal Units or Accessory Units and label each of them with an identifier (number which may (but need not) be followed by a letter, or a letter which must be followed by a number) not already used on the previous unit plan.
  • label all portions of the common property as Common Property.

A redevelopment unit plan must also show all unaffected units, including any FDUs, and each part of the common property (if any) that are shown on the unit plan it is replacing. The appellation of unaffected units must not be changed.

The definition of boundaries of unaffected units and common property shown on a redevelopment unit plan must be consistent with their definition on the unit plan that it is replacing.

Depicting changes to redeveloped units  

Where a unit is being redeveloped, the Title Diagram must depict the existing estate boundary and estate record references (r 98(2) CSR 2021).  

Two examples are illustrated below:

Land from PU2 being added to PU1 (plan view)

Diagram 1 - Land from PU2 being added to PU1 (plan view)

Land from PU1 being added to Common Property (elevation)

Diagram 2 - Land from PU1 being added to Common Property (elevation)

Additional requirements for unit plans in substitution

The new unit plan in substitution must show the final effect of the addition or removal of land. For example, where land is being removed from the common property, the plan must show only the remaining common property; where land is being added to the common property, the plan must show the additional land as having been incorporated with the common property (ss 57(4) & 59(3) UTA 2010).

If a legalisation action acquires part of a unit (AU, PU or FDU) the balance of the unit must be redefined on the unit plan in substitution as a new whole unit with a new appellation unless the balance of the unit is otherwise dealt with (for example, is involved with a complex redevelopment).

A unit plan in substitution must also show all unaffected units, including any FDUs, and each part of the common property (if any) that are shown on the unit plan it is replacing. The appellation of unaffected units must not be changed.

The definition of boundaries of unaffected units and common property shown on a unit plan in substitution must be consistent with their definition on the unit plan that it is replacing.

Plan numbering

When a PUD plan is created it gains a new plan number without a suffix (such as, LT 456789). As soon as the first stage unit plan is created it will gain the existing plan number without a suffix and the PUD plan gains the letter “A” as a suffix to the original plan number, (for example, LT 456789/A). If the PUD plan and first stage unit plan are not created in the correct order, the plan numbering will be incorrect.

When a SPUD plan is created it gains the existing plan number with the letter “A” added as a suffix (such as, DP 456789/A), while the PUD plan (or prior SPUD) that is being replaced gains the next available letter as a suffix to the plan number (for example, DP 456789/D).

A subsequent stage unit plan will gain the existing plan number without a suffix providing the new CSD is linked to the correct existing unit plan, and the previous stage plan gains the next available letter as a suffix added to the original plan number (for example, LT 456789/B).

When the complete stage unit plan is deposited it gains the existing plan number without a suffix (such as, DP 456789). The previous stage plan gains the next available letter as a suffix added to the original plan number (for example, DP 456789/D).

A subsidiary standard unit plan, or the subsidiary PUD plan for a subsidiary stage development, will be allocated a new plan number that is different from the parent development.

When a unit plan for a redevelopment (simple or complex), or a unit plan in substitution (s 5 UTA 2010), is deposited it gains the existing plan number without a suffix (such as, DP 456789). The unit plan that it is amending or replacing gains the next available letter as a suffix added to the existing plan number (for example, DP 456789/D).
(Refer to rule 59 CSR 2021)

CSD requirements for easements and covenants on unit plans

Easement schedule/memorandum information

Existing easements to be retained, both subject and appurtenant, must be recorded in a schedule in tabular form containing the information specified in rule 94(2). This schedule must be included in the Title Plan of the unit plan as a schedule of existing easements (rule 94(1) CSR 2021).

New easements must be recorded in a schedule or, in the case of new easements required by a territorial authority, recorded in a memorandum. The schedule and/or memorandum must be in tabular form, include the information specified in rule 93(2) CSR 2021, and be included in the Title Plan of the unit plan (r 93(1) CSR 2021)

Burdened land (servient tenement) for new and existing easements, and benefited land (dominant tenement) for new easements, must relate to the correct underlying parcels. New easements can only be registered over, or in favour of, the base land before the unit title development is created, or after it has been cancelled. Once the unit title development has commenced, easements can only be registered over, or in favour of, units or common property within the development.

Each easement parcel must have only one burdened land (servient tenement). Separate non-primary parcels must be defined for each unit and each area of common property that the easement will be registered over. The vertical extent of easements needs to be considered in this regard, as well as their horizontal extent. For instance, a single new easement parcel cannot have a unit (or units) and common property as the burdened land (servient tenement).

Covenant notations

Existing covenants to be retained must be recorded by a notation included in the Title Plan of the unit plan (r 95(1) CSR 2021). The notation must include the covenant parcel identifier, the parcel intent, and the creating document reference (r 95(2) CSR 2021). This information may be shown in a schedule, but this is not mandatory, so a note on a plan graphic or supporting document that is included in the Title Plan is sufficient.

New covenants must also have a notation in the Title Plan recording their parcel identifier and parcel intent, but because these are shown in the parcel list on the survey header of the Title Plan, no additional notations are required to satisfy the requirements of rule 95 CSR 2021.   

Depiction and capture of covenants and easements  

The spatial relationship between each easement or covenant, whether new or existing, and each unit and each estate boundary, must be clearly depicted on the Survey Diagram and Title Diagram (i.e. 'S' sheets, 'T' sheets and/or plan graphics) in both the horizontal and, where applicable, vertical aspects (rr 83, 97, 98, 101 & 102 CSR 2021). This will most likely require cross section diagrams to show any relationships in the vertical dimension. 

Existing covenants and existing subject easements that have been spatially defined on an approved CSD and are to be retained, must be depicted on a plan graphic (r 97(5) & r 98(1) CSR 2021). Any corresponding non-primary parcel in Landonline should not be extinguished and recreated.  

Existing easements and covenants already defined in an approved CSD are not required to be dimensioned (r 105(2)(a) CSR 2021).

New easements and covenants on a unit title development would usually be depicted on a plan graphic. However, if there are no PSBs defining the horizontal extent of the parcel, it may be spatially captured in accordance with Lodgement Standard 4.5(a) and (b).

If the new easement or covenant will be registered over a unit then the parcel must be captured as an aspatial parcel and defined on a plan graphic only.

If the new easement or covenant will be registered over the base land before the unit development is created, then the new easement or covenant parcel must be spatially captured in Landonline where required by Lodgement Standard 4.5(a) and (b), and there are no PSBs defining its horizontal extent. Plan graphics may also be necessary to clearly define the upper and lower extent of the parcel. These requirements also apply if the new easement or covenant will be registered over common property, because the easement will continue on cancellation of the unit plan as provided for by section 180(2)(c) UTA 2010.

Each new easement or covenant parcel must have the parcel type of “Area”, or “Height-Limited Area” if it has a height-limited boundary, and be labelled with an identifier (a letter, or a letter followed by another letter) in accordance with rules 43 and 45 CSR 2021. An existing easement or covenant parcel may be shown with its existing appellation (for example, A on DP 12345).

Compulsory easements are specified in the subdivision consent and are authorised by section 223 Resource Management Act 1991. Section 2 of the Resource Management Act 1991 includes Unit plans in the definition of a Survey Plan. Therefore, compulsory easements may be created on a Unit Plan.

New easements outside of the base land may also be created on a Unit Plan and could also be compulsory easements.

Capture of pre-Landonline unit plans

When an existing unit title development with a pre-Landonline plan (CSD number <300,000) is being changed and a new unit plan is required, the capture of the existing units needs to be checked.

Existing units that were not captured aspatially when Landonline was originally launched. Therefore, these units may need to be back captured to enable the new unit plan to correctly account for them.

This can be checked by adding the previous unit plan to the tree in the Landonline ‘Searches’ screen and expanding the ‘Parcels’ folder. If the existing units are included in the list of parcels, they are already aspatially captured. If they are not listed, back capture will need to be performed.

Back capture of a unit plan can be requested by submitting a ‘Survey Information Complex’ request to LINZ. Parcel capture for the new unit plan should not be attempted before back capture has been completed.

Submit a Survey Information Complex request

This requirement usually arises when carrying out a redevelopment of an existing unit development or continuing a staged unit development, but may also be necessary where a Unit Plan in Substitution is being prepared. 

When an existing South Auckland (DPS) unit development is redeveloped or has a subsequent/complete stage, then the CSD type will need to be changed from DPS to DP to allow for Landonline capture. A ‘Survey Information Complex’ request for this change should be submitted to LINZ. When the new unit plan deposits LINZ will change the CSD type back to DPS.

Capture requirements for new unit plans

The CSD Type for a Unit Plan must be ‘LT’.

Survey Purpose: Use one of the following survey purposes, as appropriate for the type of plan being created. Note that each survey purpose has a ‘… with survey sheet’ option. This must be used if the CSD includes non-boundary marks and associated vectors.

  • Standard Unit Plan (must not be used for Subsidiary unit developments)
  • Proposed Unit Development (must not be used for Subsidiary unit developments)
  • First Stage Unit Plan
  • Stage Unit Plan
  • Complete Stage Unit Plan
  • Substituted Proposed Unit Plan
  • Subsidiary Standard Unit Plan (must only be used for Subsidiary unit developments)
  • Subsidiary Proposed Unit Plan (must only be used for Subsidiary unit developments)
  • Simple Redevelopment Unit Plan
  • Redevelopment Unit Plan
  • Units Plan in Substitution

The Dataset Type for a Unit Plan must be ‘Survey’.

Parcel Intent: Each Principal Unit (PU), Accessory Unit (AU) and Future Development Unit (FDU) must have an aspatial parcel created in the Parcel List for the CSD. There is no parcel intent for Common Property.

Aspatial Capture: For details of requirements on aspatial capture see ‘Capture of Unit Development Plans in Landonline’. Ensure all parcels are correctly listed in the parcel list with the appropriate current action and parcel intent. All new or extinguished units on the plan must be accounted for in the parcel list.

The document covering the capture of all Unit Plan types in Landonline has been updated with additional notes about each Landonline plan type, references to the Interim Guideline for Unit Titles act and revised capture requirements.
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