New Zealand Real Estate Filings To Go Paperless
Paper land surveys and other documents for real estate closings may become a thing of the past in New Zealand within a couple of years. Land Information Minister Pete Hodgson announced this week that by July, 2008, all survey and land title transaction documents will have to be filed electronically through the ministry's Landonline website. According the minister, New Zealand will become the first country in the world to have a fully electronic survey and land registration system.
Landonline is the electronic database for all of New Zealand's title certificates and survey information. Since 2003, surveyors and lawyers have been able to file their documents electronically, though doing so was voluntary. Land Information chief executive Brendan Boyle told Stuff, that as of December, 22% of land title documents and 37% of survey plans were submitted electronically.
The Land Information Ministry says that mandatory electronic filing of documents will allow them to save $11 million over the next fifteen years as well as improve service and provide greater access to information. "Electronic lodgement enables much faster turnaround time and is cheaper and more efficient for conveyancers and surveyors, and their customers." Minister Hodgson said.
Most New Zealand law firms and surveyors appeared to support the plan, though some surveyors expressed concerns about the reliability of the system and the burden purchasing the required software would place on smaller firms.