Definitions

An Acre, a Rood and a Perches are all imperial area measurements with a Rood being a fraction of an Acre and Perches being a fraction of a Rood. Acres, roods and perches were used in New Zealand prior to the measurement system changing to metric (metres and hectares) for survey purposes in 1972.

The origin of the measurement of an acre was in the average area of land that a farmer with one ox could plough in one day.

As an area:

  • 1 acre equals 4047 m2 or 0.4047 hectares.
  • There are 4 roods in an acre or 1012 m2 (0.1012 hectares)
  • 1 rood equals 40 perches. Alternatively there are 160 perches in an acre.

Affected Persons Approval is a requirement of a Council to seek written approval from a person or organisation that is considered to be affected by the application. The affected person must see a copy of the application and sign an approval form. The affected persons approval, allows the Council to no longer consider an individual or organization to be affected.

Appurtenant hereto

When an easement is “appurtenant”, it means that it belongs to the dominant tenement.

Boundary Adjustment

A survey which amends the position of a boundary between properties. Generally the total number of lots stays the same but the position of the boundaries of the lots changes. Resource Consent is required from the District Council as an adjustment is defined as a Subdivision.

Certificate of Title

The legal document recording the owner of the property, the legal description of the land and its area and any other interests in the land such as mortgages, land covenants, fencing covenants.

Consent Notice

Made pursuant to Section 221 of the Resource Management Act 1991. A consent notice is imposed by a Council as a condition of resource consent and subsequently registered on the land Title. The removal of a consent notice requires Council consent.

Covenants

This is sometimes called a land covenant or restrictive covenant. Covenants are binding on subsequent owners and may restrict how you can use the land or what you can build on it. Typically used by developers who want to control the use of land or the quality of houses erected on a section in a subdivision.

Cross Lease

The term “cross lease” is a form of land tenure whereby the owner of a building (flat) obtains a lease of that building and also an undivided share in the entire land area of the property.

The undivided shares means the property is not physically divided into two or more parts but each owner has a proportional share of the total site. The owners may have exclusive use of certain parts of the land not because they own that part of the land but because their neighbours have covenanted not to use that area of land. There may also be common use areas which all owners have the shared usage, for example the drive access. The laws of trespass do not apply because all the owners own all the land and any offended party would need to take a civil action for redress.

As the entire land ownership is shared, any alteration and some other activities that are undertaken require the consent of all the other joint owners.

The District Plan may limit the coverage of the total area of the site. If one party undertakes extensive building work, the limit may be entirely used and therefore limit the use and benefit of the other party, possibly prohibiting the extension of their buildings.

Height to boundary requirements may be to the underlying lot boundary not the covenant boundary.

Insurance issues may also arise should a building be destroyed for example by fire.

When buying a cross lease –

  • make sure you understand the how the cross lease agreement affects you.
  • if no provision for exclusive use areas, enquire if neighbours are willing to change.
  • if a vacant cross leased section ensure you can build what you wish to build.

Dominant tenement

The dominant tenement is the land that has the rights – for example, the owner of the dominant land has the right to go over the neighbour’s land.

Easements

A right to do something in connection with another person’s land which would otherwise be unlawful and derogation from the rights of ownership of that land. These rights are commonly attached to a specific piece of adjoining land and will be exercisable by the owner or occupier of that land. Common easements include Rights of Way, easements for water supply or other utility services.

Less common examples include easements to receive light and air, party wall easements, easements for building eave encroachment and strata easements defined in three dimensions.

Encumbrance

Generally, an easement, covenant or some other restriction recorded on the title to a property, such as fencing covenant, building line restriction, or building covenant.

Fee Simple

This is the usual type of ownership of the title today. It is the term used to describe an estate in land in common law, meaning the entire interest in the land as distinct from say, leasehold where you do not own the land itself.

Fee simple ownership is very close to absolute ownership of the land with exceptions, namely powers of the Crown including taxation, and compulsory acquisition.

GPS or GNSS

The American GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) is known as GPS, while the Russian system is called Glonass. The Europeans are developing Galileo and the Japanese, Chinese and Indians are all developing GNSS.

Partition

A partition is when one or more owners of Maori Land separate their shares from the rest of the landowners and create separate Title. Partitions can also be used to separate interests in two or more neighbouring blocks to combine them into one Title.

The Maori Land Court approves Partitions and shall not make a Partition Order unless it is satisfied the partition is necessary for the effective operation, development and utilisation of the land.

A partition is normally based on land valuation of shares, not on the land area. The value of the shares owned is to be equal to the value of the area of land to be partitioned.

Hapu Partition

A partition of Maori Land where parcels will be held by members of the same hapu.

Consent from the local District Council is not necessary and therefore Resource Management Consent is not required. However the Maori Land Court can request comment from the Council. It is like there is no change in ownership. Should ownership later be transferred outside the hapu, the Court can require that the land be set apart as a Maori Reservation.

In Gross

Easements must either relate to neighbouring land, or be “in gross”. An easement in gross is granted, not to land, but to a person or company, and are usually associated local authorities and utility companies providing services to the land – for example, a Council sewer pipe.

Full Partition

A full partition is where parcels of Maori land will not be held by members of the same Hapu. Resource Consent is required from the local District Council and subject to Council Conditions of Consent, which may include engineering requirements and financial contributions to Council.

Land Transfer Survey

An accurate legal survey of land to create a subdivision. The survey places new boundary pegs and includes preparing survey datasets and plans. The Land Transfer Survey is governed by a strict set of Rules and legislation and must be completed and approved by a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor.

Licensed Cadastral Surveyor is a person who is legally authorised to oversee and approve a cadastral dataset pursuant to Part 3 of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002. All legal title surveys that are approved by LINZ must be completed under the guidance of a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor.

LINZ

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) holds authoritative information about land surveys and ownership, topographic maps and nautical charts.

http://www.linz.govt.nz/home/index.html

Limited Title

All title to land in New Zealand is guaranteed by the government however on some old titles the government has limited the guarantee. Generally this limitation is “as to Parcels” meaning the area and boundary position of the property is unknown. A removal of limitations survey will remove this limitation on the governments guarantee by surveying the property and lodging plans with LINZ.

Mean High Water Springs

Refers to the average height of successive spring tides. A spring tide is when the sun and moon are in a line with the earth so that their combined gravitational force raises the level of water during a high tide period. The spring tides also vary from month to month depending on how close to the sun and how close the moon is to the earth.

Servient Tenement

The Servient tenement is the land that must cede rights to the dominant tenement – for example, the owner of the Servient tenement must allow the neighbour’s car to drive over their land.

Subdivision Process

Step 1: Feasibility Investigation
Step 2: Preparation of Resource Consent Application and submit to Council
Step 3: Council grants Resource Consent – Consent Conditions reviewed
Step 4: Land Transfer Survey
Step5: Completion of Conditions of Consent
Step 6: Completion of Subdivision Process: Council issues Section 224 Compliance Certificate
Step 7: Solicitor applies for new Titles following Deposit of Title Plan

Roadways

Roadways provide access to Maori Land and are only for the use of the owners of the Blocks and people they invite onto the land; they are not Legal Public Roads. Roadways are specifically established, cancelled and altered by Roadway Orders from the Maori Land Court, pursuant to the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993.