LINZ was formed in 1996 following the restructure of the Department of Survey and Land Information (DOSLI).

For a detailed history download the LINZ Family Tree 1840-2006 (pdf 144KB) (attached below).

General information on the history of land administration can be found on the Te Ara Website:

LINZ timeline

The chronology of events leading to LINZ's formation began in 1987.

The Department of Lands and Survey, which had been in existence for some 100 years, was restructured in April 1987. The Department of Survey and Land Information (DOSLI) was set up to provide government civil and military survey mapping and land information services.
Land development activities were placed with a State Owned Enterprise (SOE). Conservation management roles were placed with new departments.
The Land Titles Office was transferred from the Department of Justice to DOSLI.
DOSLI was restructured into Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) and Terralink NZ Ltd on 1 July 1996. LINZ was vested with core government land related regulatory and purchase functions. Terralink NZ Ltd (then a State Owned Enterprise and now a private company) was vested with the commercial activities.
At the same time the responsibility for hydrographic services was transferred from the Royal New Zealand Navy to LINZ.
Responsibility for managing the technical aspects of New Zealand's legal continental shelf submission was transferred from the Ministry of Commerce to LINZ.
The Valuation Department was restructured and the regulatory functions of the Valuer General were vested with LINZ. (The Valuations Department's operational functions were vested with a new SOE, Quotable Value NZ Ltd.)
The Overseas Investment Commission, housed at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, became the Overseas Investment Office, a unit within LINZ's Regulatory Group.

More information is available on the history of the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa and the Overseas Investment Office is available.