Paper roads are areas of land that have been legally designated as a road or road reserve but have not yet had a road constructed. They got this name because while they may exist on paper maps or plans, they cannot be physically seen.
The sale of unformed legal road for private use is a formal legal process whereby the road is ‘stopped’. This removes the legal status of ‘road’, and the land becomes freehold (fee simple) land, enabling it to be sold.
The New Zealand Walking Access Commission is the Crown entity that works to enhance walking access to the outdoors for New Zealanders and overseas visitors.
There is no general right of public access across private land. If there is any doubt about access and there are no signs indicating access, permission from the landholder should be sought.
A variety of fact sheets, maps and other practical resources are available on the New Zealand Walking Access Commission website.
We'll consider applications for a road stopping from owners whose land adjoins unformed legal road, or where an encroachment has occurred, provided that suitable alternative land is available for road. (Adjoining owners’ means owners of properties that are immediately next to the land in question.)
The Council may sell unformed legal road to an adjoining property owner when it determines the land will not be required for utilities, roads or footpaths in the future. A main requirement will be that the adjoining landowner must amalgamate the portion of stopped road with the landowners existing title. No additional titles will be issued for a portion of stopped road.
As a first step, an initial conversation with a member of the Property Team is welcome as they can advise you of specific requirements for your application and provide any general information you may need. This approach can be an informal meeting at the Council offices, or information sent by email, or a telephone enquiry.
Formal applications for a Road Stopping should be made to the Manager Property Services, Tasman District Council. The application should include sufficient information to enable Council to identify the land in question and ascertain your reasons for the request. Examples of information required:
All road stopping applications are considered on a case by case basis by the Council’s Road Stopping Committee who meet on average three times per year.
Below is a guide for applicants and an application form.