Historic LINZ survey plans

What is available? 

The plans are on aperture cards, and cover just the North Auckland Land Registration District - Cape Reinga to Mercer, but not further into the Waikato.

Each aperture card has a copy of a Survey Office (SO) rolled plan, or a Maori Land (ML) plan, or a Deposited Plan (DP). They were filmed from the 1970s, are filed numerically, and cover from the 1870s to 1996.

We have SO 300 to 68624, ML 1 to 15956 and DP 1 to 177,743, along with Old Land Claims 1 to 882, Deeds Plans 1 to 1399, and an assortment of Application Plans and Trig Reference details.

What do these plans actually show? 

They physically define the legal boundaries of properties when surveyed, and provide the land area and the dimensions.

As an example, I used Auckland Council’s online Property and Rates Search by street number and street name to locate our current DP number. DPs are also on rate demands and Gazette notices, amongst other sources. The relevant aperture card provided me with a copy of the original survey of the street area in March 1925 and allowed me to follow up the further subdivision of the property in August 1981.   The latter included an outline of our house, which was built around 1948. The maps also provided other DP and SO numbers from other surveys in the immediate area.

How do they relate to Certificates of Title?

When areas of land were opened up for development, surveyors were legally required to submit these plans to LINZ, or their predecessors. Once approved and formally “deposited”, Certificates of Title (CT), also known as land titles or records of land ownership, could then be issued. Older plans may have settlers' names, English and Maori place names.

Legal status

Note that the information on these cards has no current legal standing.

Using the aperture cards

  • They can’t be searched by landowner or area. This has to be done at LINZ, which also provides Certificates of Title.
  • If you do have a greater Auckland or Northland area DP, SO, ML, OLC or Deed Plan number then it is just a matter of us locating the right aperture card or cards for you. They are available on request the following morning at Research Central, as they are stored in a secure area.  
  • We have reader/printer/scanners, which can read aperture cards, but you will need to use our Size 2 lens. Either then print off an A3 copy for 40 cents or scan to a flash drive for free. Normally we have Size 3 lens on the machines.

Blog author: David Verran