Land is central to New Zealand’s social and cultural identity, and its economic growth and prosperity. At LINZ, we create, manage and share information about where things are, in, on and around our land and waters.

Our strategy, goals and priorities are based on our core expertise and strengths in geographic information, and in land and property administration.

While many of the services we provide result in a physical product such as a map or chart, others are largely invisible to the public, such as the collection of core geographic information, maintenance of New Zealand’s positioning framework, or management of Crown land. This work is a key part of New Zealand’s infrastructure.

We work with government and local government agencies, businesses, Māori and iwi, surveyors and conveyancers, as well as the users of our products and services. We work with others to:

  • make geographic information accessible and usable
  • protect New Zealanders’ property rights
  • ensure Crown property is sustainably managed.

We make geographic information accessible and usable

We’re building world-class infrastructure for geographic information in New Zealand. That infrastructure connects different geographic datasets, and delivers this information to people who need it, in a form they can easily use – and reuse. This includes topographic maps and nautical charts, property information, and aerial imagery.

Most of our data is available free, online, in readily reusable formats through the LINZ Data Service and discoverable on data.govt.nz. We champion the accessibility and reuse of government data through the Open Government Information and Data Programme and our role in promoting a national infrastructure for geospatial information.

Building world-class infrastructure for geographic information

Fundamental Data Themes

Fundamental data themes provide a way of grouping together datasets with similar characteristics so that they can be more effectively managed for the purpose of developing and maintaining a national infrastructure for geographic information.

Fundamental Data Themes:

  • Positioning
  • Cadastre and Property
  • Address
  • Imagery
  • Land Use and Land Cover
  • Administrative Boundaries
  • Elevation and Depth
  • Geographic Names
  • Transport
  • Water
New Zealand Geodetic System

For example, LINZ is responsible for managing New Zealand’s geodetic system (which sits under the Positioning data theme). The system provides the underlying spatial reference frame used to produce maps and charts. It is also an essential tool in setting and identifying the position of property boundaries.

The geodetic system is a network of trig stations, geodetic marks and Global Navigation Satellite System reference stations that serve as physical reference points.

We protect New Zealanders’ property rights

We regulate and administer the survey and title system which records land ownership and guarantees registered title for New Zealand. This provides people, businesses and lenders with confidence in property rights and facilitates the sale, purchase and development of property. Our responsibilities for addressing enable people to quickly and easily identify properties.

We have three statutory officers that work to ensure the integrity of the property rights system. The Surveyor-General assesses national surveying requirements, and sets standards and policies to maintain the national survey system. The Valuer-General sets standards for rating valuations, allowing local government to develop rating policies and set rates. The Registrar-General of Land is responsible for the administration of the land registration system under the Land Transfer Act 1952. This includes setting standards and providing technical policy advice for land registration matters, administering claims under the state guarantee and undertaking statutory reviews.

Our Overseas Investment Office (OIO) administers the overseas investment regime, which regulates overseas ownership of sensitive New Zealand assets.

We ensure Crown property is sustainably managed

We are the guardians of almost two million hectares of Crown land, including some of New Zealand’s most iconic land, from South Island High Country pastoral land to the beds of waterbodies such as the Waikato River and Lakes Wanaka and Dunstan.

In 2015/16 we managed almost $500 million of property assets for other government agencies, using our expertise to deliver greater efficiency and benefit to New Zealand.

We set regulatory standards and make statutory decisions on how LINZ and other Crown agencies buy and sell land under the Public Works Act 1981 and related Acts.

One of our statutory officers, the Commissioner of Crown Lands, administers Crown land held under the Land Act 1948, including Crown pastoral leases in the South Island High Country.

Our Ministerial portfolios

We are responsible to four Ministers with portfolios that have coverage in Vote Lands (refer to the table below). The Minister for Land Information is the Vote Minister and the Responsible Minister overseeing the Government’s ownership interest in the Department.

PortfolioResponsibilities
Land InformationVote Minister and Responsible Minister
Greater Christchurch RegenerationFor activities funded through the appropriation Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Land Ownership and Management

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

Māori Development

For activities funded through the appropriation Purchase of Assets for Possible Use in future Treaty of Waitangi settlements

Relevant legislation and our statutory roles

Our legislative context

LINZ administers 15 Acts, has functions under seven other Acts, and has special responsibilities relating to land transactions under more than 50 other statutes. The legislation sets out the work we do, and the rules and regulations we enforce.

Our regulatory approach is based on an ‘optimal regulation’ model that balances the level of intervention (the tools chosen) against the risk of not achieving outcomes. We also look for opportunities where our regulatory levers and expertise can assist in delivering on Government priorities. In terms of LINZ’s activities, this includes promoting amendments to legislation, making regulations, prescribing rules or standards by a regulator (for example, by the Surveyor-General, the Valuer-General, or the Registrar-General of Land). Further information on our regulatory approach is contained in our Four Year Plan.