Easements affecting school land

Information about how to request an easement and what to do if someone asks you for one.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Boards
  • Proprietors 
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Property Managers

Schools will need the consent of the Ministry for easements on school land, and if a school requires an easement on neighbouring 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. Easements are usually permanent.

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.

Who can grant approval

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 the land is leased by the Ministry of Education, we will need to seek landowner approval for the easement. This may alter general time frames and costs.

If someone asks your school for an easement

You must email all requests for easements to your Property Advisor. Easements require a lot of documentation and can take a long time to complete, so it is important to get in touch with your Property Advisor as soon as you know an easement is required.

We will need to confirm that the easement will not have a negative impact on the school, e.g.; 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.

If you require an easement

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 agreements 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 work begins. Easements over Crown owned land must be negotiated and prepared by a Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) Accredited Supplier and agreed by LINZ, and there are legal restrictions on what the Crown can agree to. These differences can increase the cost and delivery timeframes, compared to easements agreed between private parties.

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