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Land records move to main centres

Midday 28 August 2000 Media Statement
Land records move to main centres

Paper land records held in Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) branch offices will be moved to main centres once the offices are closed.

LINZ offices in Invercargill, Nelson, Blenheim, Hokitika, Napier, Gisborne and New Plymouth are scheduled to be closed over the next 18 months after the introduction of Landonline, LINZ’s digital title and survey plan system.

Minister for Land Information, Paul Swain announced today how the rollout of Landonline will affect storage and access to paper records.

"LINZ assures me that no branch offices will close and no records will be moved, until external access to the Landonline database is made available in that region and information is provided on how to access stored paper records," he said.

“Irrespective of where a record is kept, people will still be able to get the information they need.

“LINZ fees for land information will remain the same. What is changing is the way access to land information is provided," Paul Swain said.

People will be able to access electronic and paper land records in a number of ways:

 By visiting a LINZ regional office and requesting a land record over the counter. Payment is made with the order
 By mailing in a request along with the appropriate fee for the order
 By using a search agent who can help get copies of documents from anywhere in New Zealand
 By ordering records directly through Landonline (for Landonline subscribers)
 By a paper records index that LINZ is developing. When complete, this index will be available on the Internet. The index will enable people to search on the Internet for information about paper records and request copies.

All remote requests, other than over-the-counter requests at regional offices, will be sent by post, fax or email.

Customers will also be able to ring 0800 ONLINE (0800 665 463) for information on how the new system of accessing paper records works.

Paul Swain acknowledges the concerns that some surveyors, genealogists and Maori have about moving the records.

“The changes being made will ensure that all land information records are stored safely and securely for generations to come and will continue to be readily accessible to all New Zealanders. I understand the importance of land records as taonga for Maori and the role of records in Treaty claims. The Government takes its Treaty obligations seriously.

"LINZ has sought input from iwi over the storage and management of paper records. All information will still be accessible to iwi. Records that LINZ no longer needs for business purposes will be offered to National Archives who will manage them in accordance with the Archives Act 1957.

"All the paper records that are not kept at LINZ regional offices in New Zealand’s main centres, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, will be stored and managed by ‘Recall’, a document management specialist with a New Zealand-wide network of storage facilities," Paul Swain said.

Paul Swain thanked staff in branches who had provided good service over a number of years.

"The services they have provided have been top level. But changes to technology and systems mean new ways of doing things. Staff in branch offices have been offered several forms of assistance including redeployment," he said.

LINZ expects that the Invercargill office will close in December 2000, Hokitika, Nelson and Blenheim offices in the second quarter of 2001, Napier and Gisborne offices in the last quarter of 2001 and New Plymouth in the first quarter of 2002.

Kerry Lamont – Press Sec. Paul Swain
Carolina Gartner – General Manager Operations Linz – 04 474 3518/ cgartner@linz.govt.nz
Michael Mead – Acting Communications Manager Linz - 04 498 3516/ mmead@linz.govt.nz

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