Easements affecting school land

An easement is the right to use someone else’s land for a specific purpose.

Sometimes schools have easements across their grounds, or require easements over a neighbour’s land.

School land is generally owned by the Crown. Therefore, only Land Information New Zealand (with consent from the Ministry) can agree to the granting or acquisition of an easement.

If someone asks your school for an easement

You must send all requests for easements to your local Ministry of Education office or email them to your Property Advisor.

Some typical easement requests might be:

  • the council wants to put in drainage pipes across the school grounds
  • an electricity supplier wants to put a transformer on the corner of your school
  • the council wants to put a footpath across your school grounds.

We will need to confirm with you that the easement won’t have a negative impact on the school. For example; underground pipes might provide improved services but could affect where you can put new buildings. We will consult with you during the process to ensure that where identifiable, negative impacts are mitigated.

Getting an easement over a neighbour’s land

Contact your Property Advisor if you need an easement over someone’s land, for example, if you need to lay pipes across a neighbouring property for your school’s water supply.

The Ministry’s consent will be required for an easement so do not negotiate directly with the neighbour. We will negotiate the arrangement and ensure any property amendments are recorded on the appropriate land title.

Paying for easements

Costs should be attributed to the party who receives the benefit of the easement. We will discuss costs related to easements with you before they are agreed.

If your school is leased from an iwi

We will deal with easements if your school is on land that’s leased from an iwi.

The iwi must be consulted and give its consent to the easement, and we will do the negotiations. Don’t negotiate anything yourself.

Find out more about iwi leased school sites.

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback