Institute of Cadastral Surveying (Inc.) Email:
P.O Box 12226 Web:
Beckenham Forum:
Christchurch 8242  
Phone: 03 686 9400 Issue 41 – May 2021
This monthly publication is a communication channel from the ICS Committee to the wider ICS Membership, and alerts you to:
•    matters of cadastral importance;
•    the status of ICS projects;
•    cadastral news and events;
•    ICS administrative matters;

Feedback and contributions are welcome, and should be directed to: or
From the desk of ICS President Pat Sole
I have been making the most of the glorious autumn weather in the last week or so, undertaking a rural survey in east Taranaki.

This land is rugged big hills, with much remnant forest. It was generally surveyed in the late 1880’s by good quality ridge top and road line traversing with large survey parties, often through bush. When I say good quality, because of the difficulties of terrain and visibility, closures are regularly in the order of 1 part in a 1000.

I have been following in the footsteps of a modern survey which has provided me with good origin and control.  However, I have been amazed at the lack of searching for old marks presumably on the basis of the age of the underlying work. I was quickly able to locate an old 1888 tube by waving the metal detector in the near vicinity within a few minutes of my arrival on-site.  This disagrees with the modern survey definition which failed to search for it, by around 0.5m.  I have also been able to identify a 1.2m (6 link) error in an adopted line – these old plans are hard to read and it is almost inevitable that one has to resort to interrogating historic field notes and traverse sheets. 

One could argue that in such low value land such small errors (1 or 2 metres over several kilometres) does not constitute a critical deficiency.  In my view though, it does no justice to the original high-quality surveys.  I have always believed that on such occasions, it is not unrealistic to spend 20-30% of field time in searching for old marks – indeed this has been the case on this survey where a number of old post butts and an old peg have also been located to confirm definition and bearing corrections.

I consider this is the difference between a good job, and a job.  I get great satisfaction from the former and I hope it also reduces any liability I may have going forward.

[We can just imagine Pat in the bushy back-blocks of the ‘Naki; tweed jacket on first thing in the morning to ward off the remnants of the early morning frost; with a smouldering pipe in one hand and metal detector in the other (a nice juxtaposition of then and now); a shout of joy as he gets a signal on the detector followed by a wee jig as he reveals the old tube followed by a scowl of disrespect to the recent surveyor who did not bother to look for it; thence a day of surveying along old and new boundaries; with a keen eye a sharp stick and a good spade (and maybe a GPS or total station too); no need for hi-viz jackets or traffic management plans; just a trusty flask of warm tea and loaf of bread and chunk of cheese to sustain Pat and his assistant - Eds]

Responses or ripostes should be directed to:
Your ICS Executive Committee continue to engage with other groups and work on various advocacy projects on your behalf.   Components of these ‘projects’ often require feedback, comment and contributions from Members.
The ICS projects are progressing, and our recent activities are summarised below, with their status in italics:
  • Good Survey Practice –  “detail document” project continues; responses from submissions received are being compiled into a first rough draft - 40% complete.
  • Survey Fees – Consultation closed.  See LINZ Issues and News following. 
  • Cadastral Survey Rules – Published 6-May-2021. Enactment date 30-August-2021.   
  • STEP (formerly ASaTS) – watching brief continues - next reference group meeting this month
  • LINZ Relationship – Next meeting to be scheduled – likely to be a virtual meeting
  • S+SNZ – Memorandum of Understanding being drafted
  • Example Survey Plans – initial examples published – request for more examples continues 
  • QA Checklist Template – a new project with CSNZ and S+SNZ - slow going progress
Your feedback on these matters is welcomed.  If you have any other cadastral survey issues that you want support with – or want the ICS to escalate – then please contact a Committee Member or the Secretary -
As reported last month, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) was calling for submissions on proposed new fees for survey and title services offered through the Landonline system.   

The ICS provided a comprehensive submission to LINZ and copied our response to S+SNZ (Cadastral Stream Chair and CEO) and CSNZ for their information.  We understand that both organisations shared some of our concerns within their respective submissions. To read the ICS subission click here.
In order to ensure that other key people were better informed as to the viewpoints on this matter, we provided copies of our full submission – along with a precis to the following political representatives:
•    Hon. Damien O’Connor – Minister of Land Information
•    Glen Bennett – Labour MP for New Plymouth
•    Hon. Louise Upston – National Party – Spokesperson for Land Information
•    David Seymour – ACT Party
•    Eugenie Sage – Green Party – Spokesperson for Land Information

We have also requested a meeting with Damien O’Connor in order to introduce the ICS and discuss matters further.  Louise Upston has indicated a willingness to meet with us as well.  It is envisaged that a meeting(s) will be arranged in the next month or so, with representatives from the ICS Executive in attendance. 

Land Information New Zealand is currently reviewing its geospatial open data publishing services.

The purpose of the survey is to understand your experience of using the services LINZ provide to deliver open data, and gather your feedback on how LINZ can improve these services.  LINZ are also seeking specific feedback on how they can improve our services to deliver bulk data, such as point clouds, national collections and tile caches. This survey should take around 10 minutes to complete and will close 5pm, 12th May. All responses will be confidential to the LINZ project team and stored securely.

The ICS encourages you to have your say ion order to influence any decisions.
An announcement from the Surveyor-General – hot off the press (6-May):
I am delighted to announce the Cadastral Survey Rules 2021 have been published on the New Zealand Legislation website.   The go-live date has been confirmed as 30 August 2021.  
A direct link to the Cadastral Survey Rules 2021 is:
If you haven’t already registered for one of our upcoming webinars to explain the transition arrangements and the changes to the rules that will affect field work, I encourage you to do so.  
We are offering two webinar options – the content will be the same and you only need to attend one.  The sessions will be recorded and made available on our website for those who are unable to attend.
•    Webinar One:  Wed 12 May – 4 to 5pm 
•    Webinar Two:  Thurs 13 May – 9 to 10am 
For further information and to register for the webinars, head to our LINZ website:

Assistant Surveyor-General Lyndon Telfer, who was the driving force behind the new rules will be running a session on the new rules at the ICS Workshop on 28th August. We advise members to become familiar with the new rules before that time, so that the session can be focused on detailed interpretation and implementation, particularly given that they will go live the following Monday.
Times for Survey and Title processing for the last 12 months are tracked below.
The summary graph for Survey Datasets reports the shortest (routine) and longest (complex) processing working days:

The minimum password length in Landonline has been increased from eight to 10 characters to meet security standards.
This will not affect your existing password and it will only take effect when your password expires or is reset.
LINZ strongly recommend that whenever you reset any password, you make it as long as possible.
The Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board is reviewing the current Standards for licensing.
As part of the review the Board invited feedback on the draft update from all licensed cadastral surveyors, as well as other interested parties.  
The ICS response delivered on 25-Mar-2021 can be read by clicking here.
Stuff – National:  6-May-2021
There’s this thing called the Milton Kink.  
According to the Wikipedia, this is an “unusual planning anomaly”, and its origins have long been disputed.  Essentially Union St, part of State Highway 1, runs straight through the town. But for some reason, at its Springfield Rd intersection, it shifts.
“Heading north on the main street the road moves a whole road-width to the west,” is how the Wikipedia page defines it.
So why exactly does State Highway 1 suddenly veer in the middle of this small South Island town?
No-less an expert than the Surveyor-General has done the research and reports the outcome.

Stuff – Environment:  30-April-2021
Residents in a rural Christchurch subdivision fear waterway contamination from sediment runoff and possible flooding if consent to harvest trees in a forestry block behind their homes is granted.
Rocklands homeowner Geoff Mavromatis said while the 21 Tai Tapu residents were not against the three landowners felling sixty hectares of pine trees, they wanted to ensure the site was monitored and maintained to prevent any runoff.

One-Roof – 30-May-2018
This article is not recent but is a good “refresher” on the subject.  [Editors Note:  The article's ending is not complete – but you get the gist anyway.]
Covenants and encumbrances restrict what you can do on your own property in a variety of ways.
Sometimes buyers sign sale and purchase contracts before showing paperwork to the lawyer. They discover the restrictions when it’s too late.
Restrictive land covenants are quite common, especially in land first subdivided from the 1950s onwards.

The 2020 Institute of Cadastral Surveying Award – known as the Chris Hoogsteden Memorial Prize -for the best SURV457 (Cadastral Surveying 3) Project has been awarded to Kade Phillips.
Kade was presented with his Certificate and Prize information on 7th May at the annual prize giving post-graduation ceremony at the School of Surveying by Mark Geddes.  (Photos will follow next month…)
The Prize includes:
  • A monetary payment of $300.00
  • Five (#5) years Membership of the Institute of Cadastral Surveying (Inc) – value $575.00
  • Complimentary Copy of the “Cadastral Index” – an application (including hardware) that allows users to access and view pre-300,000 series survey plan images for all of New Zealand – value $832.50
  • In addition to the above, a complimentary three (#3) year licence for the use of the Cadastral Index – value $345.00
Please note that the 2021-22 Membership Subscriptions will soon be sent out via email.  (We are a little late this year – must be busy!)
Your on-going membership is important to us – and is vital to maintain our organisation’s ability to represent cadastral surveyors by providing a collective voice for cadastral concerns and lobbying for better rules, fees, and systems.
Note also that membership fees are being retained at the current levels:
• $200.00+GST for Ordinary and Associate membership; and
• $100.00+GST for Non-Practising and Student members.
• No charge for Honorary members
The 2021 AGM & Technical Workshop will be held at the Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge on 28th August.

Registration for the workshop is not yet open, but if you want to stay at the venue we have arranged  a special rate of $145 for the nights of 27/28 August, which you can take advantage of by either emailing the hotel directly at or calling 03 477 5360 and quoting the reference number #78731. A contact phone number & credit card details will be necessary to secure the reservations, please have these ready when booking. Rooms are limited so get in early.

Alternatively for those looking for motel accomodation, the Aurora on George at 678 George Street is offering rates as follows:
Executive studio (1-2 people) - $160 per night
Luxury studio (1-2 people) - $185 per night
To take advantage of this contact the motel directly on 0800 737 378 or through their website and mention the Institute of Cadastral Surveying Workshop.

The 2021 conveners are putting together a programme that will be informative, interesting, and entertaining for all attendees.  SASG Lyndon Telfer is the first confirmed speaker, and will be running a session on the Cadastral Survey Rules 2021.

If you have some ideas for topics or speakers – then please pass these onto the Secretary ( )  
Returning to our historical theme, we highlight and reproduce brief biographical details of New Zealand Surveyors who have served the cadastral profession with esteem and whom deserve to be remembered occasionally for their overall contribution to the profession.

This month’s “old Surveyor” is one STEPHENSON PERCY SMITH (1840-1922)
No colonist of New Zealand lived a more useful pioneer life than Stephenson Percy Smith, who began his career as a surveyor in bush-clad Taranaki and ended his long public service as Surveyor-General. [James Cowan – NZ Railways Magazine extracted from NZETC Victoria University].

Born in Suffolk, England in 1840, Percy (as he was known) was nine years old his parents decided to emigrate to New Zealand.

Percy Smith went to school at New Plymouth and then Ōmatā, leaving in 1854 to help on the family farm. Living on the land stimulated his interest in learning about the native flora and fauna of the Taranaki landscape, and in the following year he took lessons in painting from the landscape artist John Gully. In February 1855 Smith joined the provincial survey department as the first cadet under Octavius Carrington, helping to subdivide the land around the settlement of New Plymouth. The surveying expeditions often involved long periods of isolation in the bush and brought the surveyors into frequent contact with Māori.

The rigours of surveying were familiar to Percy Smith, as he often embarked on excursions in his spare time. On one such occasion he set out with four others on a two-month journey of exploration into the interior of the North Island, a year before Ferdinand Hochstetter and Julius Haast completed a similar journey. The group left New Plymouth on 4 January 1858 and walked and canoed to Lake Taupō, hiring canoes from Māori; they then travelled on to Lakes Rotomahana and Tarawera, through the Tongariro–Ruapehu country, and on to Rangitīkei and Whanganui on horseback. In the course of their journey they walked 500 miles, canoed 46 miles (with the help of Māori paddlers) and covered 60 miles on horseback.

Smith also saw much of the conflict during the troubled period leading up to the Taranaki wars. In 1857 he served in the local militia and in March 1858 was a witness to the fighting at Waitara, where, as a surveyor and topographer, he was employed to make sketches of the stockades. In September 1859 he was employed as a surveyor with the Land Purchase Department to survey the recently acquired government land in the Kaipara and Northern Wairoa districts. In April 1860 he received urgent instructions to return to Kaipara, and acting as an interpreter and intermediary, to enlist the assistance of Ngāti Whātua for the defence of Auckland against a possible attack from the Waikato tribes. Smith was then engaged in cutting boundaries for blocks at Coromandel and surveying military settlements in lower Waikato.

In 1865 Percy Smith was sent to New Plymouth as district surveyor.  He was involved in the surveys of Waiuku in 1864, Taranaki in 1865–66 and Pitt Island in 1868. He was at the Chatham Islands when Te Kooti escaped on the Rifleman to Poverty Bay. On returning to the North Island, he was responsible for the major triangulations of Auckland and Hawke's Bay from 1870 to 1876. This included the survey of Auckland and Thames (1871–72), the Taupō triangulation (1872–73), and the Maketū and Waikato surveys in 1873 and 1874. He also laid out plans for the settlement of Rotorua in 1880. From 1871 he and his family lived in Auckland.

His work was rewarded with promotion through the ranks of the civil service. In 1877 he was appointed the first geodesical surveyor and chief surveyor of the provincial district of Auckland in the department of the surveyor general. In 1881 he became assistant surveyor general, and in 1888 was made commissioner of Crown lands for the Auckland district. In January 1889 he became surveyor general and secretary for lands and mines. He held these positions until his retirement on 30 October 1900.

In addition to his official duties Smith had used his time on his survey expeditions to collect and record information about the traditional history and culture of the Māori people, which was to form the basis for his later career as a Polynesian scholar.  As a 'gentleman-scholar' Percy Smith was an exemplary model of the self-educated amateur who had risen to the heights of intellectual endeavour. Although he had received no formal training in ethnology his career in surveying had brought him into frequent contact with Māori, and his familiarity with their language and culture was often precipitated by necessity as much as scholarly interest.

On his retirement Smith returned to New Plymouth, where he served on numerous local bodies. He combined his lengthy career in surveying with membership of the Public Trust Office board, the Government Life Insurance Department board and the Taranaki Native Reserves board, was chairman of the Board of Land Purchase Commissioners and the Board of Examiners for surveyors, and was appointed a commissioner under the Urewera District Native Reserves Act 1896. Even after he retired from the civil service in 1900 he was still active in government affairs. In 1901 he was sent to Niue to help draft a constitution and introduce a system of administration after the annexation of Niue to New Zealand.

Percy Smith died on 19 April 1922 at his home, Mātai-moana, in New Plymouth.

Sources (Text and Images):
Portrait:  Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, Reference number: 1/2-005564-F.
Survey Party:  Alexander Turnbull Library, Crompton-Smith Collection (PAColl-4073) Reference: 1/2-061056-F
Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1993, updated August, 2019. 
Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand,

If you want to suggest a particular “Old Surveyor” that deserves remembering through this forum then please send your suggestion (and any details you may have)  to
May 2021 Rules for Cadastral Survey 2021 (CSR2021) Published
1-2 June 2021 National Health & safety Conference - Auckland
16 June 2021 Cadastral Law Examination (S+SNZ)
28 August 2021 ICS AGM and Technical Workshop – Dunedin
Heritage Dunedin Leisure Lodge
30 August 2021 Rules for Cadastral Survey 2021 (CSR2021) Enacted
19-21 October 2021 12d Technical Virtual Forum – Brisbane, Australia
25 February 2022 Cadastral Survey Rules 2010 (CSR2010) Expire
“We trained hard – but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we were reorganised.  I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising, and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while actually producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.”   – Petronius Arbiter (27 – 66AD) – Novelist and Roman Courtier, Advisor to Emperor Nero)
Access Land Surveying is based in Christchurch. Due to growth in the business they are seeking an experienced Licensed Cadastral Surveyor with a passion for quality work and several years post license experience. Access undertakes work mainly in Canterbury and Buller and occasionally elsewhere in the South Island. They are well equipped with Trimble gear. To learn more about this position check out the full listing here.

McKinlay Surveyors undertake land surveying, planning and land development projects throughout the Taranaki region. We are committed to delivering the highest performance and best results for all our valued clients. We are currently looking for a self-motivated and passionate Licensed Cadastral Surveyor (or someone close to being licensed) to join our team in New Plymouth. To check out the full job listing click here.

Ngaio Survey Services offers preparation of plans in Landonline. From hardcopy field data or importing xml files into a Landonline dataset. Extensive experience in LoL plan preparation, previously for Andersen & Associates and KOA.
Flexible work hours with an efficient turnaround and competitive rates.
To discuss your Landonline requirements contact:
 Brent McFadden
 ph: 021 077 5878
Thanks to LPMS for their ongoing support of the ICS Express. To get your advertisement in the Express, contact the Secretary.
  1. Avoid or minimise liability claims with industry-specific risk management guidance
  2. Unique insurance policies tailored specifically to cadastral surveyors
  3. Comprehensive cover for commercial drone operations
  4. Specialist Liability claims team to assist and advocate for you
  5. Regular updates and resource library
Insurance consultancy provided by AON New Zealand Ltd.
Contact: Katische Remnant, AON New Zealand, (04) 819 4152 or email
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