Preparing for the Land Transfer Act 2017

2 November 2018

The Land Transfer Act 2017 (LTA) comes into effect from Monday 12 November 2018. The new Act has simplified the legislation to make it more accessible, ensure the ongoing certainty of property rights, and enable the register to be managed electronically.

Below you will find guidance about some of the changes the Act brings in, and how to manage the transition.

You can also visit the new web page which collates all the guidance and forms that support the LTA, including Authority and Instruction Forms.

Landonline unavailable - Saturday 10 November

Landonline will not be available from 7pm Friday 9 November until 6am Monday 12 November, to make changes required to support the LTA.

You will be able to use Landonline from 6am Monday 12 November.

We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Part signed instruments

Due to how instruments containing images are compiled in Landonline, any part signed instruments with an image will have certifications and signatures cleared as at 12 November 2018. This is required to maintain the integrity of these instruments and to preserve non-repudiation.

This means that on Monday 12 November 2018 any part signed instruments with an attached image, will have reverted to a ‘Draft’ status in Landonline. So the instrument will need to be re-certified and signed.

Any instrument with an image that is fully signed will not be affected. So if any part signed instruments are fully signed before 5pm, Friday 9 November, their signatures and certifications will not be cleared.

Template instruments that have stepped down to LODGE due to added text and any AUTO REG instruments that have been part signed will not be affected and will retain their part signed status, with any signatures and certifications intact.

Changes to Authority and Identity (A&I) forms

Last month, the Registrar-General of Land published new standards and directives that practitioners who certify electronic instruments will use from 12 Nov.

What are the changes?

Before making certifications relating to client authority and verification of identity, practitioners must satisfy the requirements set out in LINZS20018 Authority and Identity Requirements for E-Dealing Standard 2018 (Standard) and LINZG20775 Authority and Identity Requirements for E-Dealing Guideline 2018 (Guideline)

The Guideline describes two ways in which practitioners can satisfy the requirements for identity verification – ‘safe harbour’ and ‘equally effective means’.

Safe Harbour is considered best practice, and when followed, constitutes reasonable steps for identity verification purposes.  It may not always be possible for practitioners to use the ‘safe harbour’, and instead they may choose to use an alternative method to verify identity, referred to as ‘equally effective means’. Sighting and copying a client’s original passport or NZ drivers licence (and, where necessary, obtaining a connecting document such as a rates demand for a high risk transaction) will continue to be an effective practice for verifying identity.

Section 5 of the Guideline outlines both the ‘safe harbour’ and ‘equally effective means’ methods for:

  • acceptable forms of photo ID that practitioners can rely on;
  • the types of documents practitioners can rely on to connect their clients to the property (for high risk transactions); and
  • suitable delegates for clients within and outside of New Zealand.

As a result of the above changes, the A&I form templates have been updated to reflect this new terminology and provide additional guidance for practitioners, specifically:

The updated client A&I forms align with the new terms and provide additional guidance for practitioners, specifically:

  • Section 3 will include requirements for high risk transactions;
  • Section 5 will reference ‘safe harbour’ and ‘equally effective means’; and
  • Notes to the Form includes additional guidance on:
    • Opting to use ‘equally effective means’;
    • Delegating verification of identity;
    • High risk transactions;
    • Using audio-visual technology; and
    • Powers of attorney.

You will also see an update to the legislative requirement in section 4.

What A & I form should I use?

From 12 November 2018, practitioners can generate the updated A&I forms from Landonline or use the new templates available here and on the Property Law Section website.

If an A&I form was signed prior to 12 November, practitioners can continue to rely on that A&I form and do not need to go back to the client to have a new A&I form signed in the new format.  LINZ has addressed this and other frequently asked questions here.

We recognise that the Landonline-generated A&I forms will look different to the manual A&I form templates as only changes to section 4 and the Notes to the Form were incorporated into the Landonline release over the weekend.  Changes to sections 3 and 5 are scheduled for the next release in May 2019.  However, guidance on these matters can be found in the Notes to the Form.

Practitioners can be assured, either the A&I forms templates available here or those generated from Landonline can be used.

The New Zealand Law Society’s Property Law Section are refreshing their Property Transactions and E-Dealing Practice Guidelines. The updated A&I forms will be available in these guidelines when published. Please also refer to the Land Registration Forms page to access the forms. 

We recommend that you familiarise yourselves with the above Standard and Guideline, and update your office template A&I forms (and any other templates) to reflect the updated requirements.

Change to lodging paper instruments

Under the LTA, paper instruments are now to be lodged by posting them to one of our LINZ offices listed below. Instruments can also be delivered in person to a LINZ drop box located at our LINZ offices below.

  • Hamilton office: Private Bag 3028, Waikato Mail Centre, Hamilton 3240 or DX GX 10069, Hamilton
  • Christchurch office: Private Bag 4721, Christchurch 8140

Giving notice to the Registrar-General of Land

There a number of situations under the LTA when people need to give notice to the Registrar-General of Land (“Registrar”). For example, a caveator is required to give notice they have applied for a court order for their caveat not to lapse; or someone who uses a right of way or other easement over someone else’s land will need to give notice that they object to their easement being extinguished.

Notice may be given to the Registrar:

Media enquiries

Email: media@linz.govt.nz or phone: 027 566 5251