13 November 2018

The Land Transfer Act 2017 (the Act) that was passed in July 2017 came into force on Monday 12 November 2018.

The new Act modernises the legislation for registered land ownership in New Zealand. It makes improvements to land transfer procedures and provides a statutory framework that is more suited to the digital environment in which conveyancing and land registration now operate.

Land Information New Zealand’s (LINZ) Registrar-General for Land, Robbie Muir says, “The new Act retains the fundamentals of our Torrens land registration system while improving the legislation for the digital age. This will allow our online registration system to continue to evolve in line with developments in technology and changes in the broader property system.”

“We are grateful for the valuable input and feedback from stakeholders over the course of the review that helped shape the Act and regulations that support it.”

As well as bringing in simpler terminology and definitions, and new conveyancing instruments for land covenants, the legislation clarifies the Registrar’s power of correction. There are changes to the compensation arrangements regarding assessment and valuation of loss, as well as a new limited discretion the High Court holds to return a title to a former owner in cases of manifest injustice.

The Act consolidates and replaces the Land Transfer Act 1952, Land Transfer Amendment Act 1963, and Land Transfer (Computer Register and Electronic Lodgement) Amendment Act 2002 as New Zealand’s statutory framework for land title registration.  

It enacts reforms proposed by the Law Commission in its report ‘A New Land Transfer Act’. The report was the result of a review of the Land Transfer Act 1952 carried out by the Law Commission in conjunction with LINZ and the Ministry of Justice.

More information about the changes is available on our Land Transfer Act 2017 page.

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