Māori Land Court
Most records about Māori land are held by the Māori Land Court, Te Kooti Whenua Māori, which operates within the Ministry of Justice – see ‘Māori land records’. Land that falls within the jurisdiction of the Māori Land Court under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 and other legislation is primarily Māori customary and Māori freehold land, but also includes ‘general land owned by Māori’, ‘Crown land reserved for Māori’ and some treaty settlement reserves, mahingā kai and fishing rights areas.
The Maori Land Court operates Māorilandonline, which provides a snapshot of current ownership, trustee, memorial and block information for land that falls within its jurisdiction.
Archives New Zealand
Archives New Zealand, Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga is the official guardian of New Zealand’s public archives. The wide range of material gathered, stored and protected by Archives New Zealand includes extensive records handed over from Toitū Te Whenua, as well as other government documents and maps, paintings, photographs and film.
Local councils (territorial authorities)
City, district and regional councils hold various types of land records, including:
- Land Information Memoranda (LIM) reports – these compile information the council holds about a particular property, such as special land features (eg potential erosion, possible hazardous substances), private and public drains, rates payment status, and consents, certificates, notices of requisitions that affect the land or buildings
- building reports
- aerial photography
- district plans.
Local councils have information that can help you find specific record references so you can locate land records at Toitū Te Whenua or Archives New Zealand – see How to order a copy of a land record.
Local councils are the bodies that issue permits and consents such as:
- resource consents – these are granted in accordance with relevant statutory documents and plans, and the Resource Management Act 1991. Resource consents permit activities that are otherwise limited by the Act; they can cover land use, subdivision, coastal activities, water use and discharges to land or water.
- building consents – these are also granted by local councils in accordance with relevant legislation and regulations; as for resource consent, copies of land records held by Toitū Te Whenua are often required as part of an application for building consent.
Local councils also carry out property valuations to help determine annual council rates charges, and use these to issue rating valuation notices and rates demands.
For more information, contact your local council.
Commercial service providers
Specialist ‘search agents’ can, for a fee, help you trace the history of a particular property. Like the other land professionals listed here, they will have direct access to the Landonline system, and knowledge of how land records are structured, including in the historic systems.
Other land professionals
There is a wide range of agencies that can assist with land information and property matters, including:
- registered valuers
- real estate agents
- property managers
- resource management specialists
- accredited Crown property service providers.
Some specialist services can only be carried out by firms registered to act that way, for example property valuations can only be carried out by registered valuers.
For more information, see the relevant professional institutes listed under 'Other organisations that can help'.
Land professionals are listed in the Yellow Pages, under their business type.