Land Information New Zealand chief executive Russ Ballard calls a media report that the government might be considering pulling the plug on the digitised land information project Landonline "a misleading beat-up".
A recent story in weekly business paper The Independent referred to a report of the primary production select committee on Vote Lands. That report questions whether a new cost-benefit analysis of the project might be needed and whether this would support the need to complete the second phase of the project.
But such a statement does not amount to a proposal that the project be canned, Ballard says.
"We have a current benefit cost analysis," he says. "We completely re-did the whole Landonline benefit cost analysis early last year when the government had to decide whether to approve the conversion and facilities management contract with EDS.
"It was quite clear ... that stopping at the end of stage one would result in a negative net present value figure. In other words, stage one by itself would cost more to do than we could save."
The second stage will allow customers to lodge routine conveyancing transactions and survey plans electronically instead of having to produce paper plans and title dealings. "Most of the benefits will come from this," says Ballard, but from a cost and effort point of view it constitutes less than 10% of the whole project.