Institute of Cadastral Surveying (Inc.) Email:
P.O Box 12226 Web:
Beckenham Forum:
Christchurch 8242  
Phone: 03 686 9400 Issue 29 – May 2020
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
While Resource Consent processing is slightly peripheral to our cadastral focus, it has been most interesting to observe how Councils have responded to the current lockdown. In dealing primarily with three local Councils, the smaller two appear to have adapted quickly and continue to process consents and releases (s223/s224 certifications) in a relatively timely fashion. However, it has been much more difficult to contact and obtain action from the larger Council.  There is anecdotal evidence that Councils around NZ have managed quite variably.
Many people (and often those on low wages) have been required to keep working, at or above their normal capacity.  It would appear that the economic push to have businesses and households up and running quickly post Covid-19, is sometimes lost on Council staff who do not have the same vested interests. Minister Parker appears to be advocating a streamlining of consent processes for significant projects – perhaps it is about time this happened for all applications?  The whole consent process on many occasions seems to add only cost and complexity to many projects.
In this time of uncertainty, it is good to belong to a small group of professionals who are supportive of one another.  With this in mind, if there is any assistance you require at this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I know that the current lockdown arrangements will have very different consequences for all of you.  Hopefully it will be short, and we can get back to the “new” business as normal as quick as possible – I wish you all well!

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 –  project continues; responses from submissions received are being compiled into a “first rough draft”.  Still awaiting some promised contributions…
  • Survey Fees – ICS President participating in Review (meeting on hold)
  • Cadastral Survey Rules – consultation closed – awaiting S-G summary 
  • STEP (formerly ASaTS) – watching brief continues
  • LINZ Relationship – 2020 meeting still planned
  • ICS Member Skills Matrix – more responses required
  • Example Survey Plans – a new project (population of information on-going)
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 -
In late April the ICS received a set of Covid-19 Control Plan documents provided by member Phil Conway (Christchurch) which were disseminated to all members for your information. The documents are primarily for working under COVID-19 on small sites not already controlled by a site manager and construction protocols - ie: normal residential sites. As we near the end of the Alert Level 3 stage (hopefully!) the working situations for surveying businesses will change again.  It is crucial for you, your staff, and your client’s health and safety to follow all HSWA obligations in these changing times.

If you did not receive the email but would like a copy – please email 

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, LINZ extended the closing date for submissions to 24-April-2020 in order to catch any responses that may have been delayed by the rapid change to working conditions at the end of March.  
LINZ reports that 36 submissions were received – including the ICS.  Although this is more than for each of the Stage One and Stage Two phases, the sum is a poor reflection (in our opinion) on the cadastral surveying industry – without a volume of feedback to the rule-makers, the outcome for users may not be desirable.  Let’s just hope that the quality and insight within the submissions received will be given due weight by the Surveyor-General and the Rules Review team.

We now await the next stage – a summary of the submissions and decisions to be published in July-2020.  LINZ will compile the submissions and are also developing solutions to make our information for surveyors easier to access through the KnowledgeBase.  (

The current LINZ view on “good survey practice” was summarily expressed in the companion document to the proposed Cadastral Survey Rules 2020 as:
  • There will not be a good survey practice rule in the proposed Rules, as a rule will not in itself achieve the goal.  [Ed - obviously regardless of any fair appraisal of the final submissions for Stage 3]
  • The Surveyor-General is “keenly interested in encouraging good survey practice by surveyors”
  • The aspect of good survey practice that relates to boundary definition is considered to be covered in the current and draft Rules (current Rule 6.1 and new Rule 11).  Guidance will be developed.
  • The Surveyor-General is keen to support other aspects of good survey practice provided it is led by the Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board and professional associations.
At a recent ICS Executive Committee Meeting it was resolved to:
  • Continue to champion the “good survey practice” issue
  • Acknowledge that any document may struggle to reach a threshold of total agreement.
  • Agree to consider current “high-level” document as the final document.  ICS to create a new version with clarified cadastral surveyor definition and re-publish to Stakeholders and members.
  • Agree to continue awaiting a little longer for further detailed contributions that would populate the “detail” or “best practice” document that will be secondary to the “high-level” publication.
With the ICS led “GSP Project” already involving the CSLB, S+SNZ Cadastral Stream, and Otago University School of Surveying contributors, we are well placed to be influencers in this issue.  However, we also strongly believe that the Regulator (LINZ) has a role to play:
  • Without regulatory recognition of Good Survey Practice in legislation (or secondary legislation such as Rules), the job of surveyors in resolving land issues and in advocating for clients (and the Crown) is significantly diminished
  • Recognition of Good Survey Practice in the Rules will elevate its status and allow much better argument and precedent setting (not only in Court but within LINZ as the regulatory body), where perverse outcomes may otherwise arise.
  • As the regulator, LINZ has special responsibilities in identifying and upholding Good Survey Practice in the plan examination space.  It very clearly has responsibilities into survey investigations of historical error, poor practice, and in ensuring Court findings are well informed. 
  • The elements of Good Survey Practice therefore need considerable elevation and training within LINZ, particularly with those staff who interact with Licensed Cadastral Surveyors (LCS’s). 
  • For some time, LINZ has placed strict compliance with Rules ahead of Good Survey Practice with sometimes poor outcomes.  Without Good Survey Practice being mentioned in the Rules, there is nowhere for the surveyor (or LINZ) to go.  On occasion, it is necessary for a LCS to have as much freedom or discretion as possible in coming to best boundary definition (despite non-compliance with other Rules). Indeed, Good Survey Practice on occasion means a lack of compliance with other Rules.
  • A Good Survey Practice rule would influence other rules.  There will always be situations where a rule does not apply or exist, and an individual solution is required. A Good Survey Practice rule allows tailored solutions in a particular circumstance.  Each parcel of land, as with every individual, is unique.
  • A Good Survey Practice rule allows proper defence in a Court situation, where a Judge is expected to rule on otherwise highly technical matters.  Good Survey Practice is sometimes what sets one LCS’s work apart from another’s.  If Good Survey Practice has no place, poor Court decisions and case law will emerge (and probably has already).  Those opposed to its reintroduction, have never had to seriously defend their practice.
  • Without direct leadership and enforcement by LINZ to promote Good Survey Practice, the profession’s (including the CSLB) attempts to elevate and train in these issues is severely curtailed.
  • Re-introduction of a Good Survey Practice rule is therefore the single most important action the Surveyor-General can take, to protect and enhance the cadastre. 
Members that subscribe to the “Cadastral Index” – an application that enables easy searching/viewing/printing of the pre 300,000 series survey plans – will have received their 2020-21 licence invoice recently.  The Licence fee covers application support including re-registrations on new computers.  It is based on the number of users at each location.  Please contact to notify change of contact person; address; and/or numbers of Users/Computers.
Your prompt payment will ensure that we can continue to support and develop this tool. 

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) recognises the unprecedented effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on New Zealand. LINZ would like to acknowledge the support and co-operation of customers, partners and suppliers as they continue to deliver services within Covid-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions. The LINZ physical offices in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch remain closed to the public, and the contact centre hours remain unchanged
•    Cadastral Survey Dataset processing is fully available.
•    Exception requests handling is still available.
•    Access to manual records stored on and off site has recommenced.

LINZ has recently published guidance for surveyors on Unit Plans in the KnowledgeBase on the LINZ website -
The May 2020 Landwrap ( includes an article about this under the heading ‘Improving guidance on Unit developments for surveyors’.  As explained in the article, this is a prototype of the type of guidance LINZ are proposing to publish in conjunction with the new Cadastral Survey Rules later this year.
LINZ are keen to get feedback on the structure, layout and accessibility of the guidance.  Members who deal with Unit Plans – and those that want to influence the style of guidance information prepared by LINZ – should review this prototype and provide feedback accordingly.
Please note that LINZ are asking for feedback to be sent to before 1-June 2020.
Stuff – Business: 3-May-2020
As the country braces for a one-in-100-year recession, Cabinet has agreed to a law change that will block the public from the resource consent process in order to fast track projects that create jobs and stimulate the economy.
Environment Minister David Parker said new legislation was expected to be passed in June to allow for faster Resource Management Act (RMA) consenting of development and infrastructure projects, in response to the damage the coronavirus pandemic was having on the economy.

RadioNZ Podcast: 6-May-2020
Will a revamped RMA provide the necessary checks and balances needed for a post-covid economic recovery that doesn't harm the environment? Newly announced changes to the Resource Management Act would do away with council and public input, and instead see projects approved by expert panels, chaired by a current or retired Environment Court judge or senior lawyer. The new legislation is expected to be passed in June but repealed in two years.
Gary Taylor is chief executive of the Environmental Defence Society.

Stuff – National Politics: 24-Apr-2020
The West Coast Regional Council may challenge the legality of labelling Māori reserves as wetlands, or significant natural areas.
Councils around the country are being made to identify wetlands and SNAs in their districts, including on private land, in line with the Government's national policy statements on freshwater and indigenous biodiversity.
But council leaders and iwi working on a new district plan to cover the whole coast are asking if Māori reserves could be exempted from the regime.
By now you should have received your invoice for 2020-21 ICS Membership, and these fall due on 20 May 2020. Thank you to those who have promptly paid – and thanks in advance to those who are continuing their membership.
The ICS are continuously trying to retain relevance and purpose in these changing cadastral times and we are only able to do this with the support of our membership base. That said, w
e understand this is a difficult and stressful time for businesses and individuals. If you aren't able to pay your subscription at this time, please contact the treasurer (

A decision will be made at the end of this month whether the 2020 AGM and Workshop in Wellington goes ahead or, whether the AGM will be taken on line, and the workshop potentially replaced by one or more webinars. Check the next Express for the decision.

If there is a topic/speaker you would like to see at the workshop or if you would like to be involved in presenting a workshop session please contact the convenors (Alex Liggett -, Paul Durkin -  
The ICS welcomes Andrew Fry (Christchurch) as a Member.  Andrew attended the 2019 Technical Workshop in Christchurch and the recent Rules Review Workshop in March where he was presented with his Membership Certificate by President Pat Sole.
We return to the recent “times past” theme which pays homage to those survey equipment displays within survey office’s - I know there are many similar displays out there ready to be shared so we await yours with anticipation…
This one is from a home environment – a surveyor (name and address withheld...) fortunate enough to be allowed space for a shrine within the domestic environment.

If you want to share your “shrine” – then please send us a snap your display. Or if you have an interesting snapshot of an old – or recent – survey activity that you would like to share, please send it in to along with a comment, explanation, or report.  We’d love to see them.
1-Jun-2020 Feedback on Guidance for Surveyors on Unit Plans in the LINZ Knowledgebase (to
18-Jun 2020 Cadastral Law Examination 2020
2-4 Aug 2020 12d International Technical Forum – Brisbane, Australia
Postponed to 2021
29-Aug 2020 ICS AGM and Technical Workshop – Copthorne Hotel, Oriental Bay, Wellington – yet to be confirmed
17-Aug 2020 Professional Examination (October) – Registration closes
12-13 Oct 2020 Professional Examinations (October)
2-4 Nov 2020 S+SNZ Annual Conference – Rotorua - yet to be confirmed
2-4 Nov 2020 Trimble Dimensions User Conference – Nashville, Tennessee, USA
1-Jan 2021 Rules for Cadastral Survey 2020 (target)
“The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity”   – US writer Harlan Ellison
Ngaio Survey Services offers preparation of plans in Landonline. From hardcopy field data or importing xml files into a Landonline dataset. Extensive experience in Landonline 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 phone: 021 077 5878 email:

·    Established 1956, a small-medium sized Land Surveying / Land Engineering company for sale as a going concern
·    Located in central Auckland, close to the motorways
·    Established client base with both rural and urban projects
·    Total of 5 full and 2 part time staff 
·    Ideal opportunity for LCS to take the next step
·    For expressions of interest send details to: 
  • Manager, PO Box 99396, Auckland
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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  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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Institute of Cadastral Surveying Inc. · PO Box 12226 · Beckenham · Christchurch, Canterbury 8242 · New Zealand

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