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Lands and Survey records

Accession number (or unique identifier)
Various, including CH 290, CH 134.
We hold most, but not all, of the records of the Department of Lands and Survey and its predecessor 19C agencies. The records we have deal with land purchased or leased from the Crown. The history of the land after it was purchased from the Government is found in Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). You should contact them initially if you have any query about land ownership.
Our holdings include:
  • Records of the French settlement of Akaroa - land claims etc.
  • The Canterbury Block and the Canterbury Land District - applications for land, crown grants, leases etc.
  • Retrospective Nominal Index to Purchasers of Rural Sections dating from early 1850s - 1870s. From this index it is possible to find the original applications to purchase Crown Land, as well as the ensuing Crown Grants. Minutes of the Canterbury Land Board, where you can find decisions made on applications, indexed by name.
  • Outward letterbooks of the Chief Surveyor and Commissioner of Crown Land (mostly indexed). These letterbooks are self-indexed, and the early correspondence registers have been recently indexed on a number of subjects.
Date range
1840s onwards
Land tenure files have a 40 year restriction period.
Further information
Contact Archives New Zealand Christchurch Office Computerised documentation on these records can be searched onsite. Online access to information about holdings should be available late in 2005.