From 1 July, property files for the Ashburton District will be made available through a more secure electronic system.
Ashburton District Council (ADC) has until now made hard copies of property files available for public viewing at its Customer Services Counter. "This is no longer standard practice in territorial authorities because of the risk of misplacing or missing parts of files," Community Relations Manager Vincie Billante says.
The change means that people will need to request a property file in advance and the Council will make it available within three working days. Requests can be made by visiting, calling or emailing the Council.
The information will usually be sent via email, with large files over 5MB to be provided on a USB drive for collection from the Council's Customer Services Counter.
Ms Billante says,"all hard copy property files will be converted to electronic versions making them more secure and giving them a longer life." She says, "hard copies deteriorate over time, especially if they are being constantly handled."
The standard research and retrieval fee of $60 per hour will be charged, from 1 July 2015, for obtaining a property file. A minimum charge of half an hour or $30 will apply. The fee covers research, retrieval, scanning and providing the file in the electronic format. Any residents without access to a computer will be able to receive a hard copy of their property file for the same charge upon request.