Two years and $33M in, Land Information NZ delivers new services

Two years and $33M in, Land Information NZ delivers new services

There are slim pickings for partners after Land Information NZ opted to take redevelopment in-house.

Credit: Supplied

Land Information NZ (LINZ), which operates the country's vital property titles system, is progressively rolling out new services after insourcing redevelopment of its legacy system.

Work on a five-year programme to modernise and rebuild the Landonline titles system, began on 1 April 2019. The system underpins private property rights, a process for which New Zealand is ranked one of the best in the world.

Customer service enhancements released so far include public search, in February, which went live at a total cost of $2.8 million. This enabled members of the public to search for and order survey and title related products online.

LINZ also released two new property transaction notification services at a cost of $7.6 million. These covered a notice of change of ownership service that automated notifications to local councils when a property transaction was completed, providing accurate information to update council rates charges.

A "notice to mortgagee" service now also advises financial institutions when a mortgage is registered against a title.

The programme’s total capital expenditure as at 30 June 2021 was $33.4 million, however not much of that went to service providers because LINZ changed tack in 2018 to build its new advanced survey and title services (ASaTS) system in-house using scaled agile development methodologies.

Before that switch, LINZ planned for the new system to be supplied as a service, with the preferred supplier responsible for design, development, support, operation and enhancement with LINZ paying a subscription.

Canada-based MDA Systems was contracted to deliver a statement of work for solution discovery and definition for that original ASaTS concept in the 2017 financial year in an $8.5 million deal. Before that, PricewaterhouseCoopers was engaged for $1.5 million to provide a statement of work definition.

Since the change in approach, however, LINZ has scaled up its internal capacity through hiring and the use of contractors from multiple recruitment providers.

Outside of that it awarded a $3 million gig for Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud support to Deloitte and a $4.6 million contract for Landonline maintenance to Datacom in the 2020 financial year. In 2021, Scientific Software & Systems boosted online payment security for Landonline by providing Entrust SHA-2 mPKI certificates at a cost of $1.1 million.

LINZ opted to use AWS for its underlying hosting platform and core services while employing Microsoft Azure for Microsoft-based "commodity environments" and for platform and software based services such as Dynamics and Office 365.

"AWS is already used by LINZ with significant growth expected over the next few years," the 2018 AWS partner tender explained. "This platform is primarily used for bespoke development with a mix of external and internal developers."

So far, at least, the project appears to be under budget. $22.2 million in departmental total capital spending was was allocated in 2020 and $24.7 million in 2021. However, only $14.5 million was spent in 2020 and 20.3 million in 2021.

But employee numbers have increased as LINZ has taken on some new functions, insourced work previously outsourced to third party providers, and scaled up to deliver the rebuild and modernisation of Landonline. Just over 600 staff were employed in 2018 compared with 784 in 2021.

Outside of its Landonline redevelopment, in 2021 LINZ undertook a Microsoft Exchange cloud migration ($145,000), Implemented cloud access security broker ($774,000), undertook an intranet upgrade ($432,000), replaced Map Objects ($1.5 million), implemented property rights business intelligence reporting ($241,000), implemented SHA-2 for secure log-in ($1.3 million) and also spent $1.3 million on website redevelopment.

The Landonline redevelopment project is expected to be completed in the 2024 financial year.

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Tags DatacomAmazon Web ServicesAWSland information new zealandLINZlandonline



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