​Leasing Rail Land

KiwiRail manages approximately 18,000 ha of property associated with the rail network. We take our position as the guardians of New Zealand’s rail corridor seriously, and we are working hard to always improve safety around our tracks and trains. Our preference is to use railway land in ways that supports freight and passenger rail traffic. We also consider leasing or other interim uses for railway land that is not currently used for operations.

Commercial and Industrial Land

Commercial occupiers and freight partners lease land and buildings from KiwiRail to enable them to access rail services or to simply use our land for their own business requirements. If you are interested in leasing commercial land or buildings from us, then contact our Leasing Team at leasing@kiwirail.co.nz

Rural and Residential Land

Rural and residential occupiers living adjacent to the railway corridor can apply to lease rail land for their own use. The land must be surplus to our operational network and be safe to occupy. Fencing and separation from the corridor is essential to safe occupation. All occupation of rail land needs to be in writing and the most common way to do this is by entering into a Licence to Occupy. If you are interested in leasing rural land or land for residential use, then contact our Leasing Team at leasing@kiwirail.co.nz

​L​icence to Occupy​

What is a Licence to Occupy?

A Licence to Occupy is a legal document between two or more parties that allows someone other than the owner (a third party) to use a specific area of the owner's land for a permitted purpose.


Does everyone who uses rail land need to have a Licence to Occupy?

Everyone who uses rail land needs to have a legal agreement in place giving them the right to do so.

The most common forms of agreements are leases, licences and grants.

A Licence to Occupy records your right to use KiwiRail land and KiwiRail's obligations towards you.


What if I'm not going to enter into a licence to occupy, who's going to maintain the land?

KiwiRail uses a mix of measures to manage the maintenance of the rail corridor through their own contractors and agreements with local councils.

More information about managing vegetaion can be found here


Who can I contact at KiwiRail regarding this?

A dedicated email address has been established for all enquiries with a member of the KiwiRail property team ready to answer your queries.

Please email full name, contact details, address, licence number if you have one and any questions to leasing@kiwirail.co.nz.


What needs a Licence to Occupy?

If you're intending to use or is currently using rail land, you need a licence to occupy.


What are the types of Licence to Occupy?

  • Commercial and Industrial
  • Grazing and Cropping
  • Beautification licences
  • Cycleways and pathways


How do I apply for a Licence to Occupy?

You may complete the Licence to Occupy Application form and email it to leasing@kiwirail.co.nz.


How long will it take to process my application?

It will usually take 2 to 3 weeks to process the application.


 Click here for the Licence to Occupy Application Form




What is a Grant of Right?

A Grant is a written agreement between KiwiRail (the grantor) and the person requiring access over the railway (the grantee) who is usually the adjoining land owner. It sets out the responsibilities of each party and the location along the railway line where the Grantee is permitted to cross the railway. Such rights are granted pursuant to Section 35 NZ Railways Corporation Act 1981, an Act that empowers the Corporation through KiwiRail to grant rights over, or under, any railway land subject to such conditions and payments of rent as the Corporation thinks fit.

Any replacement, upgrade or installation on rail land REQUIRES a deed of grant.

Frequently asked questions


What are the types of grants?

  • Pipes
  • Cables
  • Bridge or underpass
  • Power and communications
  • Water race and open drain
  • Level crossings
  • Right of way and pathway
  • Miscellaneous such as billboards, advertisements and the like


How to apply for a Grant?

You would need to complete the Application Form for a Grant and email it together with your proposed plan to grants@kiwirail.co.nz.

What is the process for applying for a Grant?


Vegetation Issues

  • KiwiRail's Obligations regarding Vegetation Management
  • Vegetation / Weed Control Procedure
  • Vegetation Removal Procedure
  • Managing Vegetation


What is the process in applying for a new rail crossings?

To learn more about this, please email grants@kiwirail.co.nz


How long is the processing time for a Grant?

It could take up to 10 weeks depending on the type of application.


What to do on receipt of executed copy of the Grant?

You may apply for a Permit to Access by emailing nationalpermits@kiwirail.co.nz.

Click here for the Application for Grant document and form