Authority and instruction for local and territorial authorities

Some instruments and documents for a local or territorial authority (TA) will need to be authorised with an Authority and Instruction (A&I) form but others will not.

Documents requiring A&I forms

The definitive way of deciding if certifications and an A&I form are required is to refer to the Image Only Instruments Requiring Certifications (A&I required) tables on this website.

Image only instruments requiring certifications need an A&I form, whereas image only instruments not requiring certifications do not require an A&I.

As a general rule, if a certificate or notice does not come under the Land Transfer Act 2017 (LTA), then it generally will not need to be certified and signed. Simply scanning and attaching the notice when preparing the instrument is sufficient.

Notices that arise out of the Resource Management Act 1991, or other non LTA legislation (i.e. most notices or certificates from local authorities), do not generally need to be certified and signed. These would include s224 certificates (C224) and bonds (BOND).

Instruments that are an interest in land such as Amalgamation Covenants (C240), esplanades reserves (C232) and revocation of easement conditions (C243), are an exception, however, and will need to be certified and signed, which will require an A&I form (see schedule 3 of the Land Transfer Regulations 2018 for a full list of documents requiring certifications and the Statutory and evidentiary requirements page). Accordingly, an A&I form is only required if you need to certify and sign the instrument. A forced sale for non-payment of rates by the TA is another example of an instrument requiring an A&I form.

Public Corporates and A&I forms

Public Corporates are defined in the New Zealand Law Society’s Property Law Section’s Property Transactions and E-dealing Practice Guidelines as:

Public Corporate: This is a term used for a publicly listed company (i.e. whose equity shares are listed on the stock exchange), territorial authority, government department, state enterprise (as defined in the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986), a Trustee company for the purposes of the Trustee Companies Act 1967, Crown agents, Autonomous Crown entities or a Crown entity company each as defined in paragraphs (a) and (b) of section 7 of the Crown Entities Act 2004 (as applicable).”

All local authorities are Public Corporates for the purposes of e-dealing and signing of A&I forms. The Public Corporate A&I form does not require photo ID. Accordingly, any time an A&I is required from a local authority, the Public Corporate A&I form should be used. It is usually more efficient to generate this out of the relevant dealing in Landonline. Alternatively, it can be downloaded from the Authority and Instruction (A&I) Forms page.

Signing an A&I form

The effect of the instrument is the same electronically as it was in paper. Therefore, the process and who needs to authorise the instrument should be exactly the same council staff who would have authorised or signed the paper instrument.

Very few paper instruments would ever need to be submitted to a full council meeting, or to the Mayor for signature or approval. The wording on the A&I form states that the signatory is authorised to sign on the behalf of the local authority. Delegated authority (with appropriate internal checks and balances) is the only way in which a local authority can operate efficiently.

There should be no need to direct who should sign the A&I form. If the local authority asks the law firm who should sign, then the answer should be 'whichever council officer would have signed the paper instrument in the past'.

In summary:

  1. Check the instrument tables to see if an A&I is required
  2. If yes, prepare a Public Corporate A&I form
  3. Allow the local authority to determine the appropriate signatory.