Tenure review

Tenure review was a voluntary process that gave lessees an opportunity to buy land capable of economic use, while land with conservation values was protected and restored to full Crown ownership as conservation land.

This process ended in 2022 when the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Act came into effect, except for those reviews at the Substantive Proposal Put stage.

The stages of tenure review are outlined below.

Stage 1: Invitation to review

  1. The lessee applied to LINZ for a review by the Commissioner of Crown Lands (CCL).
  2. We consulted with the Department of Conservation (DOC), and considered whether any neighbouring land should be included in the review.
  3. The CCL decided whether to accept the invitation.
  4. We notified the lessee whether the tenure review will proceed.

Stage 2: Information gathering

  1. We conducted property inspections of the lease, and research the history of the lease.
  2. We consulted with DOC on any features of significant value that may need protection.
  3. We consulted with Fish & Game and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu on any features of the land that may need protection.
  4. In some cases we commissioned reports that described the status and activities on the lease.
  5. We posted the reports on our web site - view the information on properties

Stage 3: Preliminary proposal

  1. We developed a preliminary proposal that set out:
    • the areas of the lease that could be sold to the lessee and those that could be restored to full Crown ownership
    • whether covenants or easements should be created over parts of the property
    • where any public access routes would be created.
  2. We assessed:

    • the value of the pastoral lease held by the lessee, and
    • the value of the land proposed to be freeholded to the lessee.

    We based our assessments on independent market valuations. Because these interests have different market values, there is usually a difference between the amounts. These valuations assessed:

    • the value of the lease held by the lessee over the land;
    • the value of the land to be bought by the lessee as freehold;
    • the value of the land to be returned to full Crown ownership.
  3. We presented the preliminary proposal to the lessee, and then sent it out for public submissions. We consulted with the local iwi authority at this stage.

Stage 4: Substantive proposal

  1. We considered the public and iwi submissions, and report to the Minister of Conservation on which submissions will be accepted.
  2. We consulted further with DOC and the lessee.
  3. We developed a substantive proposal that incorporates changes resulting from the submissions.
  4. We sought approval from the Minister for Land Information to fund the proposal.
  5. We sought approval from the CCL to present the substantive proposal to the lessee.
  6. We presented the substantive proposal to the lessee, who had three months to accept the proposal.
  7. If the lessee accepted the proposal, the lessee and the CCL formed a binding contract to implement the tenure review.

Stage 5: Implementation

Once the lessee accepted the substantive proposal, we implemented the agreement. This involved:

  • registering the relevant changes in Landonline (LINZ’s digital title and survey plan system);
  • finalising covenants;
  • organising the transfer of conservation land to DOC;
  • surveying and fencing.

Technical reports

LINZ commissioned a number of research reports to assist in the administering the tenure review process. Copies of these reports can be downloaded here:


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