New Zealand property transactions are managed through Landonline, which is a robust and secure system which does not run on or have any connection with Australia's PEXA property exchange system, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) says.
LINZ has commented on recent reports of thieves hacking PEXA to steal money put aside by the lawyer of an Australian Masterchef star to purchase a property.
"Unlike PEXA, Landonline doesn’t deal with funds transfers or exchange of money for property transactions. In New Zealand these monetary transactions are managed separately between lawyers and banks," LINZ says.
"LINZ ensures the integrity of property transactions by making sure we have strong security arrangements in place – one key aspect is the digital certificate lawyers and conveyancers must have in order to access the system."
“It’s worth noting that in the Australian example problems arose because the lawyer’s email account was hacked,” says Robbie Muir, LINZ Registrar-General of Land.
“This is a good reminder to practitioners to ensure they have appropriate security practices in place for their email systems. The New Zealand Law Society has previously published an advisory on this."
Mr Muir says that In Landonline, licenses and digital certificates form an important part of the security measures in place to maintain the integrity of the system.
"LINZ tightly controls who has access to Landonline services by issuing each individual user with their own user ID and digital certificate.
“In this way, only authorised users can access the system and LINZ knows what has been searched, viewed, altered, signed, submitted, and by whom."