Easements Through Council-Owned Reserve Land

The most common type of infrastructure needing an easement over reserve land is stormwater pipelines and connections. If your application relates to a water or sewer connection please contact us to determine if an easement will be necessary.

Easements are required to formalise the occupation of Council-owned reserve land when rights are being granted in favour of private land for the benefit of private infrastructure.

The requirements to have an easement may arise in circumstances where it is necessary for stormwater from a private property to first pass over or through Council reserve prior to discharging the stormwater into a stream or another stormwater system.

What is the process for obtaining an easement?

The first step is to complete an application form and submit this with the required information (as detailed on the application form) together with the application fee.

Your application will then be assessed against the Council’s policy of infrastructure on reserve land.

If your application meets the criteria in the policy, a report recommending approval of the easement will be prepared for the Council.

At this time a registered valuation is obtained to determine the value of the easement fee. This is payable by you to us as compensation for the rights being granted over the reserve land for the benefit of your private land.

Approval by the Council is required for all easements over reserve land under the Reserves Act 1977.

Please note: this process can take three to four months depending on the timing of Council meetings.

Once approved, we will arrange the easement documentation. At this point you will be able to complete an application for a water/stormwater/sewer connection and enter a privileged access agreement to complete works in the reserve.

The easement fee (as assessed by way of a registered valuation) will be required to be paid prior to the construction works concluding in the reserve land. We will provide more information about these processes at the time approval is granted.

Upon completion of the works you will need to engage a registered surveyor to conclude a survey of the easement. Once the easement plan is available, we will need to approve the plan prior to the surveyor’s lodgement of the plan with Land Information New Zealand.

Once approved, our solicitors will then prepare the easement documentation for signing by both parties.

Once signed, the new easement will then be registered with Land Information New Zealand and subsequently recorded against your Computer Freehold Register.

What costs are involved?

Applicants must pay all costs associated with obtaining an easement over Council-owned reserve land. These costs include:

  • Application fee.
  • Valuation fee.
  • Council legal fees.
  • One-off easement fee (determined by a registered valuation).

Privileged access

If you need to conduct works on Council-owned reserve land you can apply for privileged access for a defined time period.

You will be required to reinstate the land as you found it, including reinstating any gates, fences, planting or pathways. You will also be asked to supply a bond to cover the reinstatement and the key supplied to you to open the vehicle access gate.

Special conditions may be applied, depending on the nature of your project and the impact the project is likely to have on the land and the people who use it. These may include granting access only during certain times of the year or to avoid pre-existing sports bookings.

Please contact us to discuss any aspect of the privileged access process.