Searching for Land Records
LINZ is the agency that maintains and stores New Zealand’s title and survey records; we provide public access to the files, and copies on request, but we can’t carry out a search for you.
You can order a copy of almost any of the millions of historic land records held by LINZ, or Archives New Zealand. The ones that cannot be copied, you are welcome to view in person – see How to view an original land record. The trick is to be able to identify what you want.
Where to start
- Work out which organisations have the land records you are seeking. See the Quick check: Is it the land records held by LINZ that you want below, or look at the comprehensive lists on Historic land records and Other land record providers.
- Use public reference systems, such as local council rating rolls, to pin down the details you need to order records – see How to order a copy of a land record.
- Many of the older land records are now looked after by Archives New Zealand, including all Crown grants, the deed registers and indexes, the ‘rolled plans’, the oldest surveyors’ field books, and much of the early records for Crown-owned property. See Historic land records.
- Most Maori land records are held by the Maori Land Court – Searching for Maori land records.
- Historic and genealogy organisations have guidance available – see the research guide on the New Zealand Society of Genealogists website. This includes a link to ‘Where did my ancestors live’ by Ron Hermon, which provides a researcher’s guide to the land records held by LINZ.
- Some property record providers, such as local councils, will search their records on request, or will let you search yourself. This depends on the council, so check with them first.
- You can do your own online search of the records held at Archives, through the Archway system. The Archway index includes descriptions of historic title and survey records transferred from LINZ; to see the records themselves you have to go into Archives New Zealand offices – see Other land record providers and Historic land records.
There are research guides to land records held by Archives New Zealand, including a factsheet compiled jointly by LINZ and Archives.
- There is also professional search assistance available – from specialist ‘search agents’ who can help you trace a particular property title. They, and other land professionals, have direct access to the Landonline system, and knowledge of how land records are structured, including in the historic systems – see Other land record providers.
The title and survey records held by LINZ are about ownership (or other rights) over land, transfers of those rights, and the exact physical nature of land parcels.
They do not list permits granted for kinds of use, nor do they detail activities carried out, but they might give you the specific ownership and boundary details that you need to research further.
Land records held by LINZ include:
- Titles, eg current Computer Registers, older Certificates of Title, and the administration documents for older title systems, such as Journals and Abstracts , plus some other older records relating to control and management of land
- Survey information, eg cadastral survey plans, surveyors’ technical records, and the field books and notes dating back to the earliest surveys.
See full list of Historic land records – this includes information about records now at Archives.