Connecting property information

We are looking at the future of property information and services in New Zealand, including LINZ’s role in supporting them.

A focus for this work is how government can work together to deliver on the Ministerial priority of a cross-government initiative for the delivery of "integrated property services".

Consistent with expectations that government will deliver citizens and businesses with improved online services under Better Public Services result areas 9 and 10, this cross-government initiative will improve the information people have access to when making property decisions  such as buying, selling, building, developing and maintaining property. In the future, this will provide a simpler and easier customer experience which will reduce time, costs and the number of interactions with government. 

In May 2014, Cabinet asked officials to provide advice on how to achieve this future state. See the Cabinet paper and Cabinet minute attached below.

LINZ has worked with other government agencies on what integrated property services might involve, and is developing proposals to future-proof New Zealand’s land transaction (survey and title) system.

In November 2015 Cabinet agreed that Integrated Property Services is progressed as a cross sector programme of work that ensures:

  • accurate core data and information is identified
  • information is shared and easily accessed
  • information is interoperable
  • efficient service delivery.

See the Cabinet paper attached below.

LINZ is working with other government agencies and local government to develop and progress this work.  

Questions and answers

What’s wrong with the current system?

At present, customers seeking to access location-based property services and information are required to contact a number of different government agencies. The information and services they access are disconnected (from those of other agencies) and the information provided is often not interoperable with information or services of other agencies. In many cases, the information or services are not digital or online, and often they are incomplete. These issues not only make it difficult for customers when working with government, they also result in unnecessary time and financial costs for our customers.

Central and local government’s location-based property services to the public and business includes information and services that relate to:

  • ownership interests in the land and buildings
  • permits and consents related to those properties
  • relevant locally-held information specific to each property.  

These services range from survey and title information and transactions to building and resource management information and services. They include all of the government-mandated services, regulatory requirements and publicly-held information that enable government’s customers (i.e. individuals, developers, home-owners, and businesses) to use, develop, transact and live or operate on land.

Current State image

Why look at an Integrated Property Services future?

In considering the future demands on government’s land, building and property ownership functions, we have identified future expectations from consumers and stakeholders for greater interoperability of location-based property information and functions across government. For example, the Conveyancing 2020 report (a joint study undertaken by LINZ, the New Zealand Law Society, the Auckland District Law Society Incorporated and the New Zealand Bankers Association), released in December 2011, outlines a shared view of the future of the conveyancing and land development environment which includes:

  • a more fully integrated, seamless e-conveyancing and land development environment
  • seamless land information "Though rights, obligations and restrictions affecting land may be administered or recorded across a range of agencies, all relevant information and data associated with a particular property should nevertheless be made easily available online, through a single channel or in aggregated form – current, complete and accurate.”

The needs of Canterbury agencies working during the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and working on the recovery effort have also pointed strongly to the need to ensure greater consistency and interoperability of information sets and services.  Without this, linking property and building information with individuals can be very difficult and unreliable.  CERA found it difficult, costly and time-consuming to piece together relevant information held by central and local government.  Infrastructure providers could not easily overlay their information sets with those of others and planning functions were hindered.

Economic Benefits Report

As part of our early thinking on integrated property services, LINZ commissioned a report on the potential economic benefits of making it easier for anyone to access central and local government property and building services and information.

The report found that real gross domestic product (GDP) could be $135 million higher in 2025 than it would be otherwise if central and local government had more seamless property and building operations.  Productivity benefits are estimated to go wider than the property sector and would have an expansionary effect on the economy.  Over the period 2013-2025, GDP could be boosted by $851million.

The report confirms that work to improve the seamless operation of property and building services and information is worth exploring further.  LINZ is working with other agencies to look into the possibilities.

The findings of the report and the scenarios within it are not government policy. The report tests whether work towards a Better Property Services future is worth exploring, and confirms that they are.

View the main report

Annex A Case Study UK contains more detailed and more quantitative information about the UK operations used as case studies in the main report on:

  • National Land Information Service (NLIS) — a one-stop-shop for searches required for the conveyancing of property in England and Wales
  • Planning Portal — a single digital portal for planning applications in England and Wales
  • Landweb — an electronic land registration service in Northern Ireland
  • Business Gateway — a service in England and Wales that allows businesses to access Land Registry services electronically.

Annex B Case Study Canada, Ontario contains more detail about the services offered by Teranet, and the contractual governance and legislative arrangements between the Ontario Government and Teranet.  It also has an analysis of the dynamics of such arrangements.

Annex C Case Study Australia contains more detailed material about federal and state initiatives relevant to the report.

Annex D Analysis of Results from Questionnaire records and analyses the results of the online survey done for the report.

Annex E LINZ Better Property Services Portal concept testing provides the results of user testing on the concept of a single online portal with the information and consents needed to purchase and develop private property.

Last Updated: 9 March 2015