Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) resolves complaint informally following Ombudsman’s inquiries
Document missing from complainant’s property file and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) unreasonably delayed deciding the replacement and responsibility for cost thereof—following the Ombudsman’s inquiries, the matter was able to be resolved informally by LINZ – Land Transfer Act 1952, section 172—the case demonstrates that many complaints can be resolved by informal intervention
A property owner complained that Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) had not supplied her with a copy of an easement certificate missing from her property file. She wanted to sell the property and move to a retirement home, and was experiencing delays because the certificate could not be found. Despite frequent inquiries made by the complainant and her solicitor over a 7-week period, the matter remained unresolved. The complainant was under the impression that replacement of the certificate would be at her expense.
LINZ was asked to clarify the position with regard to the missing document and the procedure for replacing it. Following an informal discussion, LINZ arranged for an extensive search to be carried out, but the missing document could not be found. The advice received was that the only solution was for the parties to recreate the easement certificate, and request the District Land Registrar to remit the registration fees pursuant to section 172 of the Land Transfer Act 1952. This section allows the Solicitor-General and the Registrar-General of Land to agree that compensation may be paid for mistakes of the Registrar and his staff. The parties were asked to submit their bill of costs to the Registrar-General of Land in the first instance.
This case note is published under the authority of the Ombudsmen Rules 1989. It sets out an Ombudsman’s view on the facts of a particular case. It should not be taken as establishing any legal precedent that would bind an Ombudsman in future.