If you are concerned for your safety, or that of your family, you can apply to the Registrar-General of Land (Registrar) to withhold information from the register if that information will disclose your whereabouts and prejudice your safety.
While this information usually relates to properties you own (e.g. your family or holiday home, or place of business), it can also relate to a property owned by someone else (e.g. the home of a close friend or relative where you live temporarily or permanently). The Registrar has published the Withholding Information in the Register Guideline 2020 – LINZ OP G 01252 (the Guideline) setting out the application requirements in detail.
Making an application
Applications can be made under:
- section 42 of the Land Transfer Act 2017 where the application is supported by:
- a restraining order under the Harassment Act 1997
- a non-contact order under the Victims’ Orders Against Violence Offenders Act 2014
- a statutory declaration by a constable, or your employer (if the prejudice arises from your employment), or
- any other relevant evidence
- Part 9 of the Family Violence Act 2018 where the application is supported by:
- a protection order made by the Family Court or District Court under the Family Violence Act 2018 (previously the Domestic Violence Act 1993), or
- a protection order made by a Court under the Sentencing Act 2002.
The Guideline, recommended application forms, and supplementary statutory declaration and consent forms can be found here:
Withholding Information in the Register Guideline 2020 – LINZ OP G 01252
A statutory declaration must be made before a person authorised by law to take a statutory declaration in your country. See sections 9 and 11 of the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957.
In NZ this person is typically a lawyer, Justice of the Peace, notary public, a Registrar or Deputy Registrar of the Court, or a NZ Police Officer of a certain rank. See below where you can locate these officials:
- New Zealand Law Society - find a lawyer or organisation
- Royal Federation of NZ Justices' Associations
- New Zealand Society of Notaries
- New Zealand Police Officers authorised to take statutory declarations
Who can access property information?
The land register is a public register, which means anyone can obtain (upon payment of the prescribed fee) a copy of a record of title or an instrument via LINZ’s search services. From the date the Registrar grants an application to withhold information, that information is no longer accessible unless one of the exceptions for disclosing information specified in the Guideline applies (see section 7 or section 16 of the Guideline).
LINZ also provides access to property data (including land ownership information and street addresses) via the LINZ Data Service (LDS) and users, such as commercial providers, may download that data and incorporate it into products they make accessible to their customers. After an application is granted, the withheld information is also removed from the LDS. It is important to note LINZ cannot recall any information downloaded earlier, and its removal is dependent on the LDS user replacing the data with a new download after the information is withheld from the LDS.
When is the best time to make an application?
You can make an application at any time however, to minimise the risk of information being accessible via LINZ’s search service or the LDS, the best time to make an application is before the information is included in the register. For most people that means before the documents are lodged with LINZ to transfer the property into your name. Applications can be made (and granted by the Registrar) in advance to enable this.
What happens once an application to withhold is accepted?
From the date the Registrar makes a decision to grant a withholding period, LINZ will ensure that information is no longer accessible via LINZ’s search services or the LDS (see “Who can access my property information” above for more detail).
Anyone who searches for that information will receive a pop-up message on their screen advising them that their search found a title that is subject to a direction requiring information to be withheld and that they can contact LINZ Property Rights Solicitors by email at email@example.com.
There are limited exceptions upon which the Registrar may disclose information – see sections 7 and 16 of the Guideline for further details.
I already have a record of title withheld under an existing application. Will LINZ automatically withhold information included at a later date relating to that same property?
Yes. If a record of title is already withheld, no further applications are required to withhold information included at a later date affecting that same record of title.
I already have a record of title withheld under an existing application. Will LINZ automatically withhold information included at a later date relating to any new property?
No. A further application to withhold information can be made to withhold information related to any new property (and can be based on the same grounds) – see sections 8 and 17 of the Guideline.
What if I don’t have grounds to make an application, but I still want my information withheld?
The Registrar has an overriding duty to maintain the integrity of the land register. One of the principles of this is that information on the register must be available for public search unless one of the statutory provisions above applies.
A record of title will not be withheld due to:
- general privacy concerns
- unsolicited mail
- general safety concerns related to your occupation (specific details explaining how the things you do in your work put your safety at risk, plus evidence in support from your employer, is required).
Can I speak to someone about my application?
Yes. Our Property Rights Solicitors, who oversee the applications, can guide you through the process. We recommend that you email our Property Rights Solicitors Team at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the team will contact you.
If my information is withheld by LINZ, will my information also be withheld by other agencies?
No. A decision to withhold information by the Registrar only applies to information held in the land register. If you want to withhold information held by other agencies you will need to contact those agencies directly for their application requirements (see also “Where can I go to remove my information from other agencies” below).
Where can I go to remove my information from other agencies?
Though this is not an exhaustive list, you can contact:
- the Electoral Commission for information about how to withhold information on the Electoral Roll
- your local council for information about how to withhold information in the Rating Information Database.
If you are concerned about receiving unsolicited marketing mail you can register on the ‘Do Not Mail’ register run by the New Zealand Marketing Association.