Institute of Cadastral Surveying (Inc.) Email:
P.O Box 12226 Web:
Beckenham Forum:
Christchurch 8242  
Phone: 03 686 9400 Issue 39 – March 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 am pleased that LINZ’s proposed new fees for survey and title services recommends removal of the resubmission or requisition fee.  This is something the ICS has been advocating for some time.

I am though, concerned at the escalation of survey fees generally given the promises made when Landonline was originally introduced, the continued lack of acknowledgement of inequity between cadastral and other 3rd party users, and the lack of accountability for system and other costs.

Other than through organisations like ours, our clients (the public) have no voice in these proposed fees which are a direct input into the price of land and housing.  They do not reflect any discounting for regulatory compliance costs of accuracy upgrading, capture and connection involved in many surveys which benefit many other users.

I am not at all convinced that the costs associated with the rebuild of Landonline and funding LINZ should be borne by only survey and title users.  This dataset is increasingly used by Government, Local Authorities, and other 3rd party users at no cost. One could argue that survey fees are a minimal cost in the whole subdivision process.  However, these fees are set directly by Government as is the whole regulatory environment in which we operate, and all contribute to the extraordinary high costs of subdivision.

Given the levels of service we frequently receive, it is appropriate that these fee proposals are challenged.  I would encourage you all to personally submit to this consultation round and copy in the ICS with your submission.  This may be an occasion when direct representation to politicians who ultimately set these fees, is perhaps the only alternative given the advice provided by officials.

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 – Under consultation.  See LINZ Issues and News following. 
  • Cadastral Survey Rules – Decision Report released by SG - still awaiting final draft
  • STEP (formerly ASaTS) – See below for Reference Group Update
  • 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 -
A further plug for members to provide example survey plans is made to expand the “plan library”.
Current 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 provide details (full description; example plan(s); and/or any supporting information that you consider relevant) to the Secretary 
Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is calling for submissions on proposed new fees for survey and title services offered through the Landonline system. (Feedback required by 9-April-2021). The fees recover costs for survey and title services and ensure LINZ can maintain and improve services for customers – mainly people who buy, sell or develop land and their professional advisors.

The fees have not changed since 2011 and need to increase to recover the future costs of providing the services.  The proposed title fee increases will add about $10 to $40 to the conveyancing cost of buying or selling a house and about $500 to the cost of lodging survey data for a small subdivision. See the following link for the full media release and consultation document:

The ICS has some serious concerns with the proposed increases.  If you have a supporting opinion - or a contrary view - the ICS NEEDS TO KNOW.
In short, the LINZ proposal is to increase the survey data lodgement fees by up to 60% (range 32%-60%).  The search fee for copies of titles, instruments and plans are increasing by 20%.  Fees for lodging documents are increasing 7.4% to 15.5%, with deposit fees increasing 48.5%.
  • Is this acceptable?  Is this realistic?  Is this justified? 
  • Is this value-for-money in light of the 'service' that is provided? 
  • Is this consistent with the reasons posted for previous increases that were applied when submission volumes were dropping markedly? 
  • Should our clients completing a subdivision today be funding the development of Landonline/STEP for tomorrow? 
  • Is there a public-good component to having a national database of land information that provides a wider benefit to many other users that don't pay for the data?
It is only via the receipt of your feedback that your ICS Executive Team can advocate truly on your behalf – and importantly on behalf of our Clients (the public) who will have little (if any) opportunity to have their say.
Therefore, please ensure that you review the consultation information, and share your views with the ICS via the Secretary ( asap.  The ICS Executive will take your comments on board and will be presenting a detailed submission on 9-April-2021. 
We also strongly encourage you to also make a personal submission - and get "two votes" on the matter.
The Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping (ICSM) and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) are pleased to announce that SURROUND NZ Ltd will lead the development of an Australian/New Zealand 3D Cadastral Survey Data Model and Exchange (3D CSDM) programme.

The 3D CSDM work programme aims to create a widely adopted standard across Australia and New Zealand for exchanging digital cadastral survey data between the survey industry and government land administration agencies.
New Zealand Surveyor-General and ICSM representative Anselm Haanen says the appointment of SURROUND is an important step in developing a consistent model for exchanging digital cadastral survey information between the survey industry and government land administration agencies.

LINZ has recently sought urgent feedback on their plans to transition to the new Cadastral Survey Rules 2021 (CSR2021) from the ICS.

Included within the implementation proposals are:
  • an early release of the Rules to enable surveyors to consider using them for fieldwork for which the CSD might be lodged after the new Rules come into effect;
  • a transition period where a CSD that is compliant with the current Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010 (RCS2010) can continue to be lodged after the new Rules come into effect;
  • enhancements to Landonline to enable this type of change and dual processing functionality.  
The new Rules will be published through the Parliamentary Counsel Office and will include the date they come into effect.  The date for the publishing of the CSR2021, the date that they come into effect, and the date that the RCS2010 expire have yet to be confirmed.

The ICS Executive Team have considered the transitioning proposals and responded with some clear and justified feedback that will hopefully influence the planned transitioning dates.

We anticipate that LINZ will shortly finalise their plans and inform the surveying communities accordingly. 

LINZ invited organisations involved in asset management and survey to provide feedback on a draft Utility Location Standard. (
The ICS provided feedback prior to the closure date of 24-February-2021.  The ICS response can be viewed by clicking here
Times for Survey and Title processing for the last 12 months are tracked below – the positibe (downward) trend continues.
The summary graph for Survey Datasets reports the shortest (routine) and longest (complex) processing working days:

The STEP Cadastral Survey Working Group convened in Wellington on 24th February to inspect progress on the development of the new survey interface. The developers have made excellent progress, and it was great to see some of the feedback from earlier 'Show and Tell' events.

LINZ also tabled a roadmap of the planned rollout of STEP. Highlights of this are:
  • Foundational work is now well advanced, with the search product already rolled out to user and the general public, and the survey and title systems making great advances
  • The aim is for some of the survey workflow to be available to users by the end of 2021. Users would still have to use legacy Landonline for some aspects such as plan generation.
  • The migration of the database is scheduled for February or March 2022
  • Legacy Landonline will be frozen (ie no further enhancements other than those necessary for security or stability reasons) at the end of 2021.
If you have any questions on the above or if you have feedback on the Landonline Web Search tool please pass this on to
The Cadastral Surveyors Licensing Board is reviewing the current Standards for licensing.

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.

The CSLB will be providing a presentation about the new Standards on a free Webinar om 16-March 2021 at 10am.  The attendee link is: 
(There is no need to register - just use the link.)

The webinar outline is:
Neale Faulkner with the assistance of Craig McInnes, both Board members, will give a presentation on the proposed new Standards, including the rationale behind them, a general overview, and detail of the substantive changes that have been made to the existing Standards.  There will be opportunities for questions and answers throughout the webinar to enable participants to get a better understanding.   All interested persons are encouraged to attend.
Stuff – 26-February-2021
Kaiapoi residents kicked out of their homes after Canterbury’s earthquakes have accused their local council of having double standards when it comes to how the land should be used.
Many residents living on land that ended up being red-zoned had no desire to move on, and many had hoped to rebuild their damaged homes there.  But the decision was out taken of their hands when Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced in August 2011 that 1000 Kaiapoi homes would be red-zoned.
The Waimakariri District Council announced its red zone recovery plan four years later. The plan, which followed public consultation, was heavily focused on green spaces and community wellbeing.  However, areas earmarked for rural activities were now slowly being taken over by plans to build, which was frustrating former residents who were told rebuilding was not an option.

Stuff – 3-March-2021
A Canterbury man trying to sell his elderly mother’s home says the process has been hamstrung by incompetency during the initial build.
Chris Evans said the problem – a lack of easement to cover the drains – only came to light when the house was put on the market after his father died last year and his mother moved to a retirement home.  A lawyer for a prospective buyer noted the drains never had an easement to cover them entering the right of way (ROW).
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 ( )  
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 WILLIAM MEIN SMITH (1799-1869)

William Mein Smith was a Soldier and Artist, as well as a Surveyor. 

Born in 1799 into a military family in South Africa, Smith went to school in Devon (England) and entered the army as a cadet at the age of 14.  He rose to the rank of Captain in the Royal Artillery, and served in Canada where he married in 1828, going on to having nine children, of whom five survived infancy.

After being stationed in Gibraltar and then Woolwich, he was engaged as the New Zealand Company’s first Surveyor-General in 1839.

He arrived in Port Nicholson (Wellington) New Zealand late in 1839, followed by his wife and children.  His first task was to lay out the company's settlement at Port Nicholson.  Beginning in January, he and his three assistants laid out two towns, first at Petone and then at Thorndon.  By 1841 he and his staff had surveyed a number of country sections from Pencarrow to Porirua, considerably fewer than the company's specification, in bush-clad, hilly country.  To meet the shortfall, the company attempted to purchase Wanganui, where in September Smith superintended the selection of country acres, only to find that Maori considered the land had not been sold. 

In September 1842 Smith was directed to map the harbours on the South Island's east coast, and he explored as far as Bluff, Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands.  Unluckily, in November his cutter, Brothers, sank in Akaroa Harbour, with his sketches, charts and instruments.  Afterwards he climbed the Port Hills, above Rapaki, to view the Canterbury Plains, but his report, written from memory, was of little use to the company in deciding sites for future settlement.

Smith participated in Wellington public life.  In 1841 he was gazetted a resident magistrate, and in 1845 became captain of the Thorndon militia.  As an Artist, he was happiest alone with his sketchbook.  His best-known work, an 1842 vista in oils of Wellington, was published as a lithograph in E. J. Wakefield's Illustrations to 'Adventure in New Zealand' (1845).  As a committee member of the Literary, Scientific and Philanthropic Institute Smith was active in establishing a library, and as a prize-winning gardener and Wellington Horticultural Society member, he introduced bamboos to Wellington.  He also promoted the installation of a harbour beacon.

Early in 1845 Smith and his family moved to Huangarua, in Wairarapa, where in partnership with Samuel Revans he became a successful runholder.  Smith and Revans made their first profits from their Maori lease negotiated with Te Manihera Te Rangi-taka-i-waho, by supplying meat to government troops.  By 1858 Huangarua ran 20,000 sheep.  By 1868 it had grown to more than 20,000 acres.  Between 1854 and 1865 Smith and Revans had purchased 13,680 acres from the Crown.

Although Smith proved a clever farmer, he was reluctant to leave his profession and returned to the New Zealand Company during 1849 and 1850 as a contract surveyor.  He made a sketch survey of Wairarapa and was involved with Henry Tacy Kemp in abortive purchase negotiations with Wairarapa Maori, at a time when it was proposed that the Canterbury Association settlement should be located there. I n 1849 he explored Manawatu to estimate the cost of survey, and to inspect the New Zealand Company's purchase north of the Rangitikei River.  Later he completed the survey with Maori assistance.

As government district surveyor in Wairarapa from 1853 to 1857, Smith surveyed Crown purchases by Donald McLean, and determined Maori reserves.  He partly mapped Wairarapa, including the Wharekaka Plains in 1854, and surveyed eastward, completing a coastal survey to Castlepoint and the triangulation of the Taratahi, defining the boundaries of Masterton and Greytown during his trigonometrical survey, and in 1856 laid out the town of Featherston.

Smith was a member of the Legislative Council from 1851 to 1853, and represented Wairarapa from 1858 to 1865 on the Wellington Provincial Council.  For years Wairarapa's sole resident magistrate, he blocked the licence for Morrisons Bush Inn because he was tired of being disturbed by drunken shepherds.  In 1865 he retired to Woodside, near Greytown, where he and Revans established a sawmill.  He died at Woodside on 3 January 1869.

That Smith adapted readily to the colonial environment is demonstrated by his multifarious achievements.  Today he is remembered chiefly for his exact sketches and watercolours of early Wellington, the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa.  But it is as a surveyor, and a teacher of young surveyors such as Kettle, that his central contribution to frontier society was made.  Arguably the best theoretician in the colony, he tackled new problems scientifically, being an early exponent of triangulation.  His career is controversial, however, because he planned the city of Wellington, which is notable for its poor design.  Wellington's topography made nonsense of the company's scheme.  In accordance with his instructions, Smith tried first to ensure that every holder of a land order obtained one town acre, and only latterly 'to provide for the future rather than the present'.  From a pragmatic viewpoint it was no small achievement to survey two towns in six months, in steep bush and bad weather, with inadequate staff and equipment, and amid Maori protest, settler complaints and skulduggery by William Wakefield and his cronies.  'In due time', Revans wrote, 'the difficulties of his task will be his exoneration.'

In addition to his practical surveying work, Smith's reports of his exploratory journeys and surveys have significance for their record of colonial conditions.  He noted landforms and human activity, such as new modes of dressing flax by Manawatu Maori.  As a Wairarapa pastoralist he helped to establish New Zealand's wool and beef industry, importing stock from New South Wales.  Essentially a scholarly gentleman, religious, and diffident until toughened by Wakefield's deviousness, Smith commanded respect from his fellow settlers. 

Excerpts from
Source: Day & Haghe (Firm). Smith, William Mein 1799-1869: The harbour of Port Nicholson and the town of Wellington (sketched in the middle of the year 1842). Ref: PUBL-0011-16-1. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23221896

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 .
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
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep” – Scott Adams – Artist and creator of the Dilbert comic strip)
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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