Using neighbouring land to access your property

To access your property through neighbouring land, you need the owner's permission and a right of way.

How it works

A right of way is a form of easement that gives you the right to pass over another person's land. This could include using a neighbour's driveway, or being able to use a narrow portion of their property as a footpath to your house.

If we grant an easement, it doesn't change who owns the land – just how it can be legally used.

How to apply

1. Talk to the landowner

To be granted a right of way, you must first get the landowner's agreement.

2. Engage a surveyor and lawyer

Right of way applications are usually made by cadastral surveyors and legal professionals. They are the only ones who can complete this process with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).

3. Prepare your supporting documents

As part of your application, you must provide in writing:

  • your details
  • your agent's details (if using an agent)
  • the property owner's details
  • the details of the person who will pay the application fees
  • what the right of way is for
  • a current record of title (less than 3 months old).

You'll also need to provide a scheme plan, which must show:

  • the location of the proposed right of way
  • the purpose of the easement
  • the 'burdened owner' (the land on which the easement is to be located)
  • the 'beneficial owner' (the land which benefits from the right of way).

4. Submit your application

Online

In person

By post

5. Pay the fee

Applying to create a right-of-way easement costs $1040.

Pay online

In person

6. Your application is assessed

Once we've received your application, it'll take up to 20 working days for us to assess it.

If we need more information

If you have extra fees to pay

If you're owed money

What happens next

So LINZ can issue a new record of title showing the easement, you'll need to apply to the Council for certification of the right of way. The initial application fee for this is $310.

You'll need to provide us with your land transfer plan (which must be prepared by a surveyor) so we can confirm you have complied with the right of way decision. Your lawyer will then need to lodge this with LINZ.

Contact us

The Resource Consents team is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Phone: 04 801 3590

Email: planning@wcc.govt.nz