Institute of Cadastral Surveying (Inc.) Email:
P.O Box 12226 Web:
Beckenham Forum:
Christchurch 8242  
Phone: 03 686 9400 Issue 38 – February 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
Every summer I am reminded how lucky we are to have jobs where we can escape the office and enjoy the outdoors. Most surveyors from my experience, enjoy putting on their boots and doing a hard day in the field.  That said, with modern technology the field side of the job is getting quicker and the office work seems ever increasing.

I have fond memories of the camaraderie and fun had in doing seismic surveys, trig schemes, high country tenure reviews, and GPS control and overseas campaigns.  It is often the characters you meet and live with, and the long hours that make such projects so entertaining and rewarding.

At a cadastral level, it is always good (and often a sense of relief) to locate old monuments which sort your definition out.  However, it is also good to take the time to look around on any cadastral job to take in its overall context. It is these simple field observations (not with survey equipment), particularly where natural boundaries are involved, which allow surveyors to define boundaries in their correct locations.

It could be argued that except in the simplest of circumstances, it would be unwise for a cadastral surveyor to not visit a field site before signing the plan.  I know that is not always possible for many surveyors.  However, I would urge you to visit the survey site wherever there are complex issues at hand – for example occupation not in terms of defined boundaries, natural boundary movements etc.

In my view, those involved in court cases or where definition is particularly problematic, cannot do justice to the often-contradicting information without field visit.  Sometimes such a minor field trip can resolve issues far more quickly and with a better outcome, than mincing over a plethora of data.

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 –  release version 3.2 posted onto ICS Website here
  • Good Survey Practice –  “detail document” project continues; responses from submissions received are being compiled into a first rough draft - 35% complete.
  • Survey Fees – ICS President is a party to a Review.  We understand that information will be shared by LINZ over the next month or so. 
  • Cadastral Survey Rules – Decision Report released by SG - still awaiting final draft
  • STEP (formerly ASaTS) – watching brief continues - next report from Reference Group will be next next month's Express
  • 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 now published to the Field Notes Forum - request for more examples
  • 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 -
Our library of “example survey plans” announced in last month’s Express has had some early feedback from Members – many indicating that a site that offers ready access to a resource of example plans will be most useful.
Of course, the resource is only as good as the contents within it.  So, we are encouraging members to consider providing examples of their own datasets that may expand the “plan library” – even if they may duplicate a plan type already posted.
This resource is intended to be a ‘live’ source of information for Members to use as and when required.  The examples are provided with due care and responsibility, with a view to sharing plans for Members to follow. 
The examples can be found on the ICS Field Notes Forum (within our website) under “Members Only” access folder - Example Survey Plans.
You will need to register on the Forum to access this ICS information. 

If you have an example that you wish to share, then please download and complete the submission form here  and forward it to the secretary 
We have previously commented on the extending dataset processing times, and we report the current processing times each month (see the graphs below).
For the first time in several months, the survey dataset processing times looks to be dipping – albeit slightly, and hopefully we are not speaking too soon.
LINZ Processing Centres have been focusing on addressing the consistently large influx of datasets along with getting on top of the backlog of plans by implementing some new processes and systems along with building resource capacity as best they can.
Needless to say, the ICS will continue to monitor the processing times – and we will continue to request that LINZ maintain systems and resources to deliver a reasonable service that would see plan processing periods of around 10 working days become the norm.  

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) has launched a new online service so anyone can find and buy property records such as titles or survey plans for an address.
Public Land Record Search ( ) makes property information available directly through a simple online search tool and digital payment system.  With the new service anyone in New Zealand or Australia can search for the records held about a property by address or using the map of New Zealand and navigating to a specific parcel of land.  Once the information is found, the cost to purchase a single land record is $5.
Previously, the public could only buy these records from LINZ through a manual order form for $15 per record or purchase through an agent.
LINZ Deputy Chief Executive Business Transformation Murray Young says the new public record search is part of the programme to modernise Landonline, New Zealand’s survey and title database platform.  “This is the first time we’ve been able to make Landonline information like this directly available to the public.  “Our modernisation programme will make land information more useful, accessible, and responsive while retaining New Zealanders’ confidence in land ownership,” he says.

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:

LINZ are inviting individuals and organisations involved in asset management and survey to take a look at the draft Standard and provide feedback. (
Although utility location data capture is not directly related to cadastral surveying, the ICS will provide some feedback on the Standard before the feedback closure date of 24-February-2021.  
The Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board is reviewing the current Standards for licensing cadastral surveyors.
As part of the review the Board is inviting feedback on the draft update from all licensed cadastral surveyors, as well as other interested parties.  The proposed new CSLB Standards and an explanatory document can be found in the CSLB Members Area after logging in to the Board's website at
Submissions close Monday 29th March 2021. If you would like to contribute to an ICS submission please get your feedback in to by Friday 19 March 2021.
It is with great sadness that we record the passing of former ICS member Ashley Macfarlane on 21 January 2021. Ashley had a long career first as a Draughtsman at Lands and Survey/DOSLI. After graduating from Otago with a Bachelor of Surveying in 2001 he went on to become a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor, and had his own practice based in Oxford. He was a well-liked member of the Canterbury surveying community and will be greatly missed. 
ODT – 10-February-2021
The government will scrap the Resource Management Act (RMA) and replace it with three new pieces of legislation.
Environment Minister David Parker ordered a review last term saying the 30-year-old law was "too costly, takes too long, and has not adequately protected the environment".
The plan announced is broadly in line with the findings of the independent review panel, led by retired Court of Appeal Judge Tony Randerson QC, which recommended a "completely different approach, while also incorporating some of the key principles of the previous legislation".
The three new Acts will be:
  • Natural and Built Environments Act (NBA) to provide for land use and environmental regulation;
  • Strategic Planning Act (SPA) to integrate with other legislation relevant to development, and require long-term regional spatial strategies,
  • Climate Change Adaptation Act (CAA) to address complex issues associated with managed retreat and funding and financing adaptation.
Stuff – National: 31-January-2021
A planned ‘monster’ development in a sleepy Waikato town has faltered with a civil trial due to follow a criminal trial after a major stoush between investors. 
Eight years ago, Pokeno had just 600 inhabitants. But things are changing rapidly in the small Waikato town, once known for its bacon, its giant ice-cream scoops and the gas station where Kelly Johnson fuelled up his Mini for free in Goodbye Pork Pie.
Just 53km from downtown Auckland, huge new estates have swollen the population, and with more re-zoning on the horizon, real estate agent Eric Chase saw a prime opportunity to cash in if he could persuade local landowners to sell up their land simultaneously.
Our planning for the 2021 AGM and Technical Workshop in Dunedin continues.
The 2021 conveners are putting together a programme that will be informative, interesting, and entertaining for all attendees.  The venue will be confirmed in next months' Express. Watch this space to take advantage of early booking savings.

If you have some ideas for topics or speakers – then please pass these onto the Secretary ( )  
Continuing a break from our current Times Past theme (featuring “Old Surveyors”) we present a preview of a publication that may be of interest to Cartophiles.

New Zealand Heritage Survey Maps and Plans – A Guide to early maps and land plans of NZ specifically to assist genealogists and researchers is a publication being meticulously compiled by Colin Adams – a retired NZ Railways Draughtsman with a passion for maps and plans – and energy to pursue an ambitious project to compile a reference book describing NZ’s early survey maps.  Publication is imminent.

First begun five years ago as a descriptive pamphlet, it has swelled to more than 200 pages (with a similar number of diagrams and illustrations) describing all maps relating to the country's land development drawn by what became the Lands and Survey Department.

The book needed a starting point.  This was set to the time when provincial government survey offices were amalgamated as one survey service instructed to survey the entire country, to build trig stations and ensure accurate plans for burgeoning land sales.  The book ends when the metric system was introduced in the 1970's having covered as many topics as possible like field books, SO/ML/DP plans, topographical map styles, sale plans, aerial photos, and marine charts.  Included is an extensive appendix of trivia and minutia to blind the most avid map reader.

Its creation is not as a catalogue or parade of maps but compiled to help those who need to know what is available to support a project or investigation, private or commercial, even a family history booklet.  Every map type and style that could be located for the period 1870 to 1970 has been described as to where they can be found, what they are, and how to read them.  As such, this book may prove a very useful resource for researchers, environmental planners, and students.

We have been privileged to be provided with a draft foreword:
"Early maps drawn for New Zealand were of course made during expeditions from Europe searching for tradable goods or exploitive resources that could be taken back to Europe, often for speculative profit. Australia and New Zealand failed to impress those early explorers by having no exotic spices or organised population to augment their commercial motives.

Instead, as New Zealand's southern animal resources became known, the oil needs of North America and Europe sent ships south to slaughter seals, whales and later penguins. Meanwhile the British colonial drive claimed Australasia and soon had their navy shipping spar timber home from the Thames and settlers looking to emigrate here.

Jump another 100 years and colonisation under the British flag was in full swing. Australia and New Zealand were under the scrutiny of British civil servants sent out to record resources and identify settlement lands.

Mapping New Zealand was crucial to settlement, there being many provincial government and independent survey teams tramping the land, returning discoveries to their survey departments for collation and then as quickly as possible, to publish maps of high dependability and quality.

The result for us today is a trove of often fragile mapping detail, now released to the public in quantity thanks to the digital computer age. Maps kept out of the light because they were disintegrating can now be passed around casually as colour image digital files.

Maps described in this book are neither the populist or old explorer maps of New Zealand but the later records of clerical exactness regarding the land carved up, as it is today, into precise plots large and small.

This book's purpose is to step into the subdivision period of New Zealand at the point when agreement on how to proceed with the colony's survey by the provincial governments had been resolved, and which was soon consolidated by the formation of a central government in Wellington.

The following chapters illustrate the most careful methods and skill taken by the surveying departments to produce, first the master plans for the many types of survey required, and then the multitude of detail maps and plans to define our country. The book contents were assembled initially for the benefit of genealogists, but it kept growing, from four pages to too many, but no apologies, it is what it is. Encyclopaedic."


Next month we will return to the old theme.  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 .
22-23 February 2021 Urban Futures – AUT Events Centre, Auckland
2 April 2021 Cadastral Law Examination - Registration Closes (S+SNZ)
12 April 2021 Professional Examinations
June 2021 Rules for Cadastral Survey 2020 Enacted (target date)
16 June 2021 Cadastral Law Examination (S+SNZ)
1-3 August 2021 12d Technical Forum – Brisbane, Australia
28 August 2021 ICS AGM and Technical Workshop – Dunedin – location to be confirmed
“I am not arguing - I am just explaining why I am right” 
Rick and Morty – American adult animated science fiction sitcom - circa 2018)
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.

Fox & Associates is a well-established and progressive small to medium-sized consultancy whose mission is to help their clients and communities to create legacies with land. They currently have an opportunity for a recently or nearly licensed surveyor with the right stuff to join their team. 

To learn more click here to check out the full job listing. 
Thanks to LPMS for their ongoing support of the ICS Express. To get your advertisement in the Express, contact the Secretary.
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