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Do you own all of the land you think you own?

Do you own all of the land you think you own?

The impact of Part 4A of the Conservation Act and Marginal Strips.



For landowners whose titles state ‘subject to Part 4A of the Conservation Act’, it can come as quite a shock to find out they do not own all of the land on the purchased title.

‘Subject to Part 4A of the Conservation Act’ is added to a title when land is sold or otherwise disposed of by the Crown; but the legislation is only triggered when the land abuts a waterbody that meets certain criteria. When Part 4A is triggered, this signals that a marginal strip; a 20-meter-wide strip boarding the waterway; has been created and ownership of the strip has been retained by the Crown and is managed by the Department of Conservation, DOC.

Completing works on a marginal strip would be the equivalent of attempting to build on a neighbouring property. However, the key difference is it can be challenging to know whether a marginal strip is present as the land area of the marginal strip is included in the title area, and the strip may not be shown on the title diagram.

Licensed Cadastral Surveyors (LCS) are the professionals entrusted with determining whether the adjoining waterbody meets the specific criteria. Where the correct process is followed and professionals who are experienced in land development legislation are involved, titles subject to Part 4A of the Conservation Act can still have successful development outcomes.

In cases where there are no feasible options to complete a development without building or working within a marginal strip, surveyors can act as a liaison, submit plans, and request consent to complete the necessary work. Developers and landowners can also work with DOC to enhance the marginal strip through weeding, pest control, and establishing new native vegetation. While this is attractive to DOC, it ultimately increases the value of the adjoining land.



At Woods, providing better outcomes for the DOC, our clients, and the end-users is very important to us.

If you are thinking about purchasing land, completing a subdivision, or undertaking a land development project, talk to the team at Woods. Our team of in-house experts can assist you in understanding the interests on a title, check for any issues, and determine if the title will be impacted by Part 4A of the Conservation Act.

– Kendall Reid, Associate Surveyor, Licensed Cadastral Surveyor


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