Parliament has given a third reading to the Land Transfer Bill, which repeals the Land Transfer Act 1952 and Statutory Land Charges Registration Act 1928.
The new legislation will come into force on a date to be appointed by Order in Council.
The bill modernises the 1952 Act and continues and maintains the Torrens system of land titles in New Zealand. In its submission on the bill, the New Zealand Law Society noted that the original version did not refer to maintenance of integrity of title, However, this has now been included, and the purposes clause of the new legislation states that the bill is to maintain the integrity of title to estates and interests in land.
“The Land Transfer Bill reflects the fact that the majority of property transactions are now done online,” Land Information Minister Mark Mitchell says.
“This legislation provides for improvements in redress in the rare situation that a property owner suffers as a result of mistake or fraud. There are also extensions to the ability to withhold personal information to protect the personal safety of landowners and their families. The Bill introduces improvements to modernise transactions, which will make the system more efficient."
Mr Michell says the new legislation is expected to come into force in late 2018.
The Registrar-General of Land, Robbie Muir, says while the fundamentals of the land title system are not changing, the new legislation modernises the statutory framework for electronic land registration and implements other reforms adopted from the Law Commission’s well received review of the 1952 Act.
“The new Act will mean some changes for people who work with the land title system such as property lawyers, conveyancers, banks, local authorities and some Government departments.
“Now that the legislation has been passed we’ll be working to ensure that all the necessary changes are in place by November 2018, when the new legislation is expected to take effect," he says.
Mr Muir says the work includes developing a new set of Land Transfer regulations, updated regulatory standards and guidelines, some changes to operational processes and Landonline, and related education and information for lawyers, conveyancers and other users of our land registry services.
“Over the next year we will be consulting on the detail of changes to regulations, standards and guidance material with external key stakeholders like the New Zealand Law Society."