Landonline rolls on in South Island

The troubled Landonline development has been 'launched' in the South Island with the closure of Land Information NZ's last regional offices.

The troubled Landonline development has been “launched” in the South Island with the closure of Land Information NZ’s last regional offices.

The Blenheim Linz office closed on July 6 and the Hokitika branch two days earlier. All South Island paper records will now be centralised at Christchurch and Dunedin.

The significance of a “launch”, says Landonline communications manager Mike Bodnar, is that online access first becomes available for an area — even though the data may be incomplete — and local paper access is terminated. A launch includes a presentation for surveyors, solicitors, valuers and other users of land information.

The launch and closures does not mean the system has been fully rolled out in the South Island by any means, says Bodnar. The conversion of survey data there to an online format is still progressing, under the hands of EDS. It is still running behind the original schedule by several months, following the collapse of Terralink, which had been doing the conversion under subcontract to EDS. The other side of Landonline conversion, that of land title documents, is complete for the “vast majority” of the South Island, Bodnar says.

Landonline operations manager Lindsay Meehan says conversion of titles is forecast to be complete nationwide by August next year. “Survey [document conversion] will be a bit further delayed. It should be completed about 12 months after titles —August 2003”.

Six months ago, he says, it would have been hard to believe that titles completion could have been achieved by the date foreseen now. But there have been improvements to the conversion software to make the task easier, and EDS staff are “getting much better at it”.

“We hope the same happens with the survey information,” he says.

Meehan rebuts the contention of some users in the Nelson-Marlborough area that the Landonline server is too slow to send out complex plans in a reasonable time. The bottleneck, he says, invariably proves to be in local connection to the user’s office, the speed of the user’s network or the ISP.

Bodnar tells of a demonstration conducted in a Nelson hotel, where the simple change of an aged telephone wall-socket upped the speed from a disappointing 28kbit/s to 52kbit/s.

Centres such as Palmerston North and Tauranga, to be launched shortly, will take Landonline into areas where Linz has not previously had a local office, says Bodnar.

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