Land Information New Zealand

When the time comes to abandon traditional approaches, digital innovation, agility and adaptability become key. Especially when the desired outcome has to combine the interests of multiple parties connected across a wide range of business sectors.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) makes sure New Zealand has accurate information about land, sea and property, to ensure people have confidence in their property rights and that Crown property is well managed for future generations.

Information about any given property is held across many organisations and most of it is hard to access and of variable quality. A large amount of effort is needed to build a clear picture of property – particularly if someone is after a local, regional or national view.

The provision of such information lies within LINZ’s responsibility for managing land titles, geodetic and cadastral survey systems, topographic information, hydrographic information, managing Crown property and supporting government decision making around foreign ownership.

A cross-sector programme - Integrated Property Services (IPS) - had been created to obtain involvement from central and local government. Then, having developed a conceptual model for how New Zealand’s property information could be connected up - the Property Data Management Framework (PDMF) – LINZ sought to test and strengthen it using real data.

The nature of this project meant traditional approaches to knowledge gathering and technical development would not work, so LINZ specifically sought out Datacom for help.

From March to July 2017, Datacom’s innovation team (known as The Exploratory) worked closely with the IPS team at LINZ to explore how core property data around an individual property could be combined. The team’s agile working style provided space for exploration while still meeting tight timeframes. Controls were put in place to maximise efficiency and allow LINZ to monitor project progress.

Tools were developed to explore and test the PDMF model. They also proved useful as a means of communicating the project to wider audiences with demonstration events being held at Datacom for key stakeholders.

Findings from this phase were presented to the LINZ Executive Leadership Team at the end of July 2017 who approved the second phase of development.

The main success though, was in bringing the vendor/client relationship to a business focus and shared understanding. This allowed Datacom and LINZ to identify approaches and wider collaboration and opportunities, which will endure beyond this project.

Through close collaboration and knowledge sharing, our developers were able to absorb six years of industry knowledge in the first few weeks. During this time they also built tools and prototypes that enabled a better understanding of the data. This ensured the working model continued to focus and adapt with the business.

The developers were also able to hold in-depth discussions around property and its management with industry experts. As a result the team was able to produce a tool to assist LINZ with explaining the Property Data Management Framework and why it mattered to all of New Zealand.

As well as the core work to validate the Property Data Management Framework, the team built virtual and augmented reality applications. This enabled the business to showcase what the future could look like. The team held a series of open days demonstrating the framework and the approach used to get to this point.

“This was a hugely satisfying piece of work – in fact it is still satisfying as we continue to leverage the knowledge and tools developed. The knowledge we gained was the gold we were seeking, the tools developed as a consequence were the bonus. This could not have been achieved if wasn’t for the commitment, enthusiasm and innovation of the Datacom team. On top of that it was a huge amount of fun and very much looking forward to the next phase.”

Aaron Jordan, Group Manager IPS and Addressing, Land Information New Zealand