These questions and answers relate to values on land to be protected during the Land of Potential Interest process.

What was the previous process?

Since 2007, the Land of Potential Interest process has applied to certain disposals by Crown agencies. Where land being disposed of met set criteria, a Crown agency was required to refer the land to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). LINZ, along with other relevant agencies would assess the land and determine whether there were any conservation, recreation, heritage or cultural values or sites that required protection.

LINZ would then report to a Ministerial Group to determine the appropriate protection mechanisms if any, to be put in place for the land before disposal.
What is the process now?
The Land of Potential Interest process has been rescinded. Cabinet has determined that all Chief Executives are expected to identify and protect any values on the land before disposal.
Does this mean that there will be less protection for sites?
No. Other existing processes for government departments, such as notification of disposals to the Department of Conservation or Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, will continue to apply. All Crown agencies are expected to ensure that any values that may be present on its land are properly identified and appropriately managed before the land is disposed of.

LINZ will also develop best practice guidance for all Crown agencies on the values to be protected and where to seek further advice before decisions are made. These guidelines are expected to be available by December 2009.
How will values be protected?
All Crown agencies, when disposing of any land, are expected to consider and address the following wider national values before disposing of land:
  • conservation values
  • historic places, such as archaeological, historic and wahi tapu sites and areas
  • potential recreation uses
  • sites of heritage and cultural significance to Maori
  • potential use in future Treaty settlements.
This would include identifying whether any such values are present, seeking expert advice, and if necessary developing a response to proactively protect such values.
Will Ministers continue to be involved?
Yes. Crown agencies will be required to advise their Ministers immediately if any issue arises relating to the disposal of their land. Ministers will also monitor the situation, and would move if there were concerns that important values were not being adequately protected.
Will these changes speed up decisions on land disposals?
Yes. These changes will avoid duplications that had existed. Many properties held by government departments that went through the Land of Potential Interest process also went through other disposal processes that examined many of the same values, such as conservation, or use in future Treaty settlements.