The basis of our property rights

New Zealand has a strong survey and legal framework supporting land ownership and values. This means we can be confident of our property rights.

Statutory officers

Four statutory officers ensure New Zealand's legal and survey system can be trusted. These statutory officers are employed by Toitū Te Whenua but operate independently.

  • The Surveyor-General sets standards for our survey systems, ensuring that we can rely on land boundaries and location information. They also administer the naming of places and support the Electoral Commission’s setting of electoral boundaries
  • The Valuer-General regulates the rating valuations industry. This includes administering the Valuers Registration Board (which regulates registered valuers) and ensuring district valuation rolls are maintained. 
  • The Registrar-General of Land oversees New Zealand’s land rights registration system. They also provide policy advice and administer claims and reviews under the Land Transfer Act 2017.
  • The Commissioner of Crown Lands exercises rights of ownership and has statutory responsibility for Crown land. This means they are the landlord for Crown pastoral lessees, and are responsible for consenting to activities on Crown land. 

New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa

The New Zealand Geographic Board is our national place naming authority. It meets several times each year to assign official place names in New Zealand, its offshore islands and continental shelf, and the Ross Dependency of Antarctica.