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LINZ Offers To Return $18 Million Of Crown Funding

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 18 NZPA - Land Information New Zealand (Linz) has offered to return about $18 million to the Government's coffers over three years.

The amount equal to almost 7 percent of its crown funding follows a call by the National-led government for savings.

"Linz will also continue to review and prioritise ... to ensure more efficiency can be identified, while delivering the output it has been funded for," Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson told a parliamentary select committee today.

Mr Williamson noted some of the department's funding came from third-party revenue such as fees for property transactions and the downturn in property markets had hurt those cashflows.

"This will continue to be a major factor in spending decisions in the 2009-2010 financial year," he said at the primary production select committee.

"In these tough economic times, I am confident resources are being targeted at the right areas."

The main focus of Linz work on government policy was on the South Island's high country, and that work -- coordinated by Agriculture Minister David Carter -- included reviewing the current policy and legislative framework.

"Once the detail of this policy direction has been established, the focus in this area will shift to implementation," Mr Williamson said.

The Government has said it wants voluntary good-faith negotiations with runholders, high country rentals aligned to the earning capacity of the farm, and recognition that runholders can be as effective in their stewardship of the land as the Crown.

Mr Williamson said other priorities were to extract the best benefits available from use of "geospatial" information, such as GPS data used to build up layers of maps.

And the agency will also contribute to efforts to wind up the Waitangi Treaty settlement process for historical claims by 2014, with land held by the Crown or managed by Linz such as forest lease licences being potentially required for settlements.

It was also consolidating processing of its computerised database of land title and cadastral survey records, and expanding access through its Landonline website.

Since February, all land transaction data has been required to be lodged electronically.

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