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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Valuation of Land Act

In 1896, therefore, the rationalisation of 14 years earlier was advanced by the Government Valuation of Land Act which provided for the appointment of a Valuer-General (to be the Commissioner of Taxes for the time being) who would have the statutory duty of preparing, maintaining, and revising periodically a general valuation roll for the colony showing for each property three sets of values, capital value, unimproved value, and value of improvements. The general valuation roll would be the standard roll on which the valuation rolls of all local authorities rating on the capital value or unimproved value were to be framed. The valuations for the time being appearing in the general valuation roll were also, in so far as the Governor in Council from time to time directed, to be used for:

  1. The assessment of land tax and of stamp and death duties;

  2. Advances and investment on mortgage of land by or on behalf of, inter alia, the Government Insurance Office, the Public Trust Office, and the Government Advances to Settlers Office.

Provision was also made in this parent statute that, where land was taken or acquired for settlement purposes or for public works, the sum to be offered by way of compensation was to be not less than the valuation of the land appearing on the general valuation roll. Further, a certified copy of any entry was to be deemed to be a competent valuer's report for the protection of any trustee proposing to lend money upon the security of the land.

Capital value was defined as the sum which the owner's estate or interest in the land, if unencumbered by any mortgage, might be expected to realise if offered for sale at the time of valuation (i.e., fair market value), and unimproved value was defined as the market value of the land as if no improvements had been effected. The value of improvements was to be the added value given by the improvements. There has been no change in these definitions over the whole of the Valuation Department's history.

Local authorities rating on the annual value were still left to prepare their own rolls, and it was not until 1954 that the Valuer-General was vested with statutory power to accept appointment as a local authority valuer for this purpose. In the meantime, however, there had been a big drop in the popularity of annual value as a rating system in boroughs (from 60 per cent of boroughs and cities using the system in 1904, when figures are first available, to 10 per cent at 31 March 1961).

The Public Officers' Appointment and Powers Act of 1904 separated the offices of Valuer-General and of Commissioner of Taxes. The Valuer-General there-upon became an autonomous officer of the State.