Boroughs and Counties, from the end of provincial government in 1876, had the power to levy ‘rates’ on land. There was inconsistency of land valuations by the 1890s in spite of Government measures.
The Valuation Department was set up on 17 October 1896 under the Government Valuation of Land Act 1896. In 1904 the Valuer-General became independent of the Commissioner of Taxes.
In 1987 the Department became Valuation New Zealand and began to work on a cost recovery 'user-pays' basis, charging for information and certain special valuations that were previously non-recoverable.
The Valuer-General’s major statutory duty was to prepare district valuation rolls and update them for changes in ownership and development. Valuation assessments for properties were prepared at not more than 5-yearly intervals. Between valuations, current market values of individual properties were assessed as required.
Values set by the department were used as a basis for levying rates, land taxes, estate, stamp and gift duties, by local and central government agencies involved in land transactions. They were also used as benchmarks for the real estate market, both housing and commercial.
The department had an advisory role in the valuation methods, economics rating and town planning, and gave support to the Valuers Registration Board. It also played a key role in the development of the valuation profession.
The Valuer-General was responsible to the Minister-in-charge of the Valuation Department. The National Office established national policy on a broad range of issues and provided operational services through what were eventually three Regional Offices (Northern, Central & Southern) and 27 District Offices. The District Offices were the primary delivery units of the Department's services to local authority clients as well as being the public face of the Department.
Valuation New Zealand was disestablished on 30 June 1998 when the Department's functions were split between the newly created Office of the Valuer-General and Quotable Value New Zealand Limited. The Office of the Valuer-General became part of Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), responsible for setting standards and auditing providers of valuations for rating purposes. It also took over administrative support for the Valuers Registration Board.
Quotable Value New Zealand Limited (renamed Quotable Value Limited), a state-owned enterprise, provided contestable valuation services. Responsibility for the maintenance of the valuation roll passed to the local authorities
Valuation assessments come under a variety of names and in a variety of forms. Early records tend to be in registers; later records are on slips of paper in order of Valuation number, not address.
Records held are listed roughly north to south under each Archives NZ office (see page 2).
New Plymouth & Taranaki: