How to search for land records

LINZ is the agency that maintains and stores New Zealand’s title and survey records; we provide public access to the files, and copies on request, but we can’t carry out a search for you. This page includes information to help you carry out a search.

You can order a copy of almost any of the millions of historic land records held by LINZ, or Archives New Zealand. The ones that cannot be copied, you are welcome to view in person:

The trick is to be able to identify what you want.

Where to start

Work out which organisations have the land records you are seeking. See:

Use public reference systems, such as local council rating rolls, to pin down the details you need to order records:

Many of the older land records are now looked after by Archives New Zealand, including all Crown grants, the deed registers and indexes, the ‘rolled plans’, the oldest surveyors’ field books, and much of the early records for Crown-owned property.

Most Maori land records are held by the Maori Land Court:

Search assistance

Historic and genealogy organisations have guidance available – see the guides on the New Zealand Society of Genealogists website. This includes a link to ‘Where did my ancestors live?’ by Ron Hermon, which provides a researcher’s guide to the land records held by LINZ:

Some property record providers, such as local councils, will search their records on request, or will let you search yourself. This depends on the council, so check with them first.

You can do your own online search of the records held at Archives, through the Collections search. The Collections search includes descriptions of historic title and survey records transferred from LINZ - to see the records themselves you have to go into Archives New Zealand offices:

There is also professional search assistance available – from specialist ‘search agents’ who can help you trace a particular property title. They, and other land professionals, have direct access to the Landonline system, and knowledge of how land records are structured, including in the historic systems:

Quick check: Is it the land records held by LINZ that you want?

The title and survey records held by LINZ are about ownership (or other rights) over land, transfers of those rights, and the exact physical nature of land parcels.

They do not list permits granted for kinds of use, nor do they detail activities carried out, but they might give you the specific ownership and boundary details that you need to research further.

Land records held by LINZ include:

  • Titles, eg current Records of Title, older Records of Title (previously referred to as Certificates of Title or Computer Registers), and the administration documents for older title systems, such as Journals and Abstracts , plus some other older records relating to control and management of land
  • Survey information, eg cadastral survey plans, surveyors’ technical records, and the field books and notes dating back to the earliest surveys.

See the full list of Historic land records, which includes information about records stored at Archives:

See background information at: