Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is a government agency responsible for providing authoritative land and seabed information including boundary definition and titles for property dealings. The agency manages over 60 million land records and is useful for entities/ people interested in land use, buying, selling, managing public land, and location related information. The agency also ensures national land rating system is fair and consistent. LINZ provides information and transactional services to businesses and other government agencies, and geospatial information to public via the internet.
LINZ is a zero surplus business, and there is no profit and no loss. Therefore the emphasis is driving costs down at all points of the transactional process.
“Land Online System: One of the aims of LINZ is building world class property system”
Land Online project
In April 2000, LINZ (Land Information New Zealand) launched a project (Landonline) to electronically disseminate digital land information and processing survey and title transactions. The Landonline project has capability to interact with databases carrying geodetic information (i.e. network of survey marks covering New Zealand) and cadastral survey plan (spatial positions of land parcels together with land title records). The approval process for survey plans and issuing of land titles are automated within Landonline. The new system enables surveyors and lawyers to electronically lodge routine land transfer (e-dealing) and survey transactions (e-survey), and to electronically search all these records.
LINZ also has disaster recovery option providing the benefit of availability in case of natural calamity or technical failure. While implementing Landonline, best practices from other countries were studied.
Benefits of System
Using Landonline has reduced title processing time for land buyers from 3 days to real time. Title searches can be done online and consequently some public counter in LINZ offices were closed as Landonline rolled out. The closure of offices represents radical structural change for LINZ as an organization, increase in government efficiency in public service and reduction in operating cost.
The gain to government is ceratinity of records. Customers receive a higher quality of service when issues of fairness are overcome by 24/7 availability of records to public. Manager of property title regard the physical security of land records as a long term benefit accruing to the public.
The policy and regulatory functions were separated for the purpose of future outsourcing, and has shifted regulatory responsibilities to professionals. The relationship between government and professionals has become less prescritive. Monitoring and industry standards is set by professionals.
Opportunity and Constraints
With the changing business environment, there is constant demand for managing change in terms of technology, processes and human resources. The necessity also arose from the need to shift system implementation from the view of transactions to that of citizens’. LINZ had to engage citizens within limited budgetary resources to develop an understanding from Stakeholder’s point of view. Landonline is not the sole database, other databases such as New Zealand Police, National Address Register etc. offer cumulative benefit to government. However, it is acknowledged that entire gamut of stakeholders on supply chain need to be studied.
Giving a single point of intervention, and doing the same thing digitally may not lead to transformation. Transformation is when people are able to do things which they were not able to do earlier, or citizens are enabled to create wealth for themselves or there is radical improvement in the way business is conducted.
The new digital processes requires staff involved in data quality control, less discretionary judgement and skill in computers. However, the HR and business processes remain unchanged.