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Historic Kiwi Records Future Guranteed

The future of New Zealand’s current and historic land records under Land Information New Zealand’s Landonline project is secure, according to Minister for Land Information, Matt Robson.

Responding to concerns made by surveyors and others in Nelson about the removal of local land records to a storage archive in Christchurch, the Minister said he was satisfied that alternative storage options had been fully considered before the decision to store them in Christchurch was made.

“The Landonline project which was instigated by the previous National government always presumed that certain district offices would close, in fact the funding of the programme was dependent on that.

When this Government were elected, LINZ’s Landonline title and survey records automation project was rigorously and thoroughly reviewed. That review included testing whether the removal of local records from the affected LINZ branch and regional offices around the country to more central storage facilities – such as those in Christchurch – was appropriate. We found that it was.”

Mr Robson said that a further review of the records storage was conducted last August. He said, however, that in light of more recent concerns that the land records – some of which dated back more than a hundred years – would be moved “out of reach,” Cabinet was again looking at various storage options.

“Under Landonline, the most frequently-accessed land records are being scanned as part of the digitisation process. It’s proposed that these records – about seven million of them nationally – along with those other core paper records not scanned, be then moved to a centralised storage and retrieval archive. It does not put them beyond reach, as they will still be accessible. What it does do is guarantee their preservation in an appropriate archive for future generations.”

Land Information New Zealand’s Nelson Branch closes today (25 May). Scanning of the local land records required for Landonline is expected to be complete within about two weeks. Surveyors, solicitors and others who need access to such records as part of their day-to-day business can get it via Landonline ’s internet-based database. Un-scanned records can be accessed via a manual search request.

Cabinet’s decision on whether archiving of the affected records should continue as planned or should be revised will be released next Wednesday.

Further information on the Landonline project can be found at: www.landonline.govt.nz

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