Land records

LINZ looks after millions of land records for the Crown, including property titles, related land documents and survey records. These records have been stored and managed by LINZ and its predecessors since the 1840s.

Historic paper records

One of our main functions is to ensure the details on land title records accurately reflect transactions, so the Crown can guarantee title to land. See Land Registration.

LINZ provides public access to core survey and title records. We are set up to provide an accurate, efficient online service, providing copies of almost any record we hold on demand. Manual requests can also be processed. In some cases the size, binding or fragility of the record means it cannot be digitised, and you will need to view the paper original in person.

What land records are used for

Land title and survey records provide an accurate and up-to-date picture of legal ownership of privately owned land in New Zealand. They also provide precise historical account.

In the same way, the Crown property records we hold provide detailed information about land owned or managed by the Crown on behalf of all New Zealanders.

The land records that LINZ holds are mostly used to:

  • record registered transactions – showing when property is ‘dealt with’ including when it is bought or sold
  • identify ownership of ‘registered interests’ – such as a bank which holds a mortgage on the property, or an easement that gives a neighbour the right to use some of the property
  • identify legal (survey) boundaries
  • record survey dimensions.

Other uses of land records include:

  • Treaty of Waitangi claim research
  • research into land once owned by a family member
  • other genealogical research.

Access to survey and title records

The electronic database

Most land records held by LINZ are stored in digital form on the Landonline system. Since 2002 New Zealand land professionals (eg lawyers and surveyors) have been able to lodge and search title and survey records electronically (and since 2009 are required to work this way).

At the same time, LINZ has scanned older paper-based records to create a comprehensive electronic database of land title and survey information – see Historic land records. Creating a digital record also helps to protect the original historic documents.

While only land professionals can search Landonline directly, anyone can order copies of the electronic records stored there through LINZ – see Ordering a land record.

Digital copies of some older records can be accessed through Archives New Zealand’s online Archway system – see Historic land records.

Paper originals

LINZ is now working closely with Archives New Zealand to manage the paper copies of historic land records, and together the two organisations ensure they are preserved and accessible to the public.

It may not be possible to photocopy some older records, due to their size, binding or fragility. You can still see records that remain in paper form, but you need to request an appointment to view the original.

See Historic land records for information about locations of different types of record.

Professional assistance is available to help with historical research and more complicated searches – see Other land record providers.

Updating or changing land records

Professional advisers such as lawyers, conveyancers and surveyors can help you make changes to your title or survey records. For example, if you have paid off your mortgage, you can have this taken off your Computer Register (ie your title record). LINZ recommends you consult a lawyer to arrange any mortgage discharge. See also Manual dealings.

If you think there is an error in a land record, such as a misspelt name or incorrect legal description, you can request a correction to a record.

Last Updated: 4 February 2016