How to view a land record in its original paper form.

Forms of land records

Most of New Zealand’s land records are now in digital form, either on the Landonline system, or within the Archives New Zealand system, which is accessible through their Collections search.

Some of the older, rarely used and more fragile records remain as paper originals only.

Viewing an original land record

See the sample images of these kinds of records for more detail about references for ordering: abstracts/lodgement forms, Crown grants, deeds, deed registers and indexes, field books, journals, traverse records.

1. Work out exactly what record you want to see

See the full list of types of Historic land records – this includes the older land records once held by LINZ that are now stored within Archives New Zealand.

The Searching for land records page offers basic guidance. Professional advice is also available through Other land record providers.

2. Find the best ‘reference’ for the record that you can

Many of the crucial details of a historic record may be found on the property’s Record of Title.

Legal descriptions can also be found on rating valuation notices or rates demands, or by searching maps held on some council websites. Rating rolls held by some city and district councils may also list the historic legal descriptions for properties – see How to order a copy of a land record.

For historic records held by LINZ – the most important details to have are:

  • the record type (as above)
  • the record reference number
  • the date of the record, if known
  • the land district (as below).

3. Work out what land district it falls within

Look at the map of land registration districts, work out which covers your area. If you are in doubt where the boundaries fall, choose the most likely and include any information about the street address.

4. Work out which organisation holds that record now

See the lists on Types of land record and Historic land records – they indicate which records are still held by LINZ, and which are now held by Archives New Zealand.

If it is a record type still held by LINZ, and you think it is likely the document has been scanned, order a copy of the land record through LINZ. If it is not available this way, we will let you know where the original can be seen.

If the record is now stored with Archives New Zealand, you can search for it through their Collections search, the online search facility. At this stage, the Collections search has descriptions (not images) of all files held. You can then make a request via the Collections search facility to view the document in person.

Most Maori land records are held by the Maori Land Court. See Searching for Maori land records

5. Make payment

For viewing original records held by LINZ, email

Once the record has been located, LINZ will contact you within two business days to advise the appointment date, time and office location where you can view the records.

We will advise the charge (if any) for viewing land records then.

If you cannot attend, you can arrange to have an agent view the original on your behalf – see Other land record providers for information about land professionals who can act for you.

For records held by Archives New Zealand, use the Collections search to arrange an appointment.

Need help?

Professional search assistance is also available. See ‘Other record providers’ for information about professionals who specialise in researching property information.

Contact Kōrero whakapā

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