Institute of Cadastral Surveying (Inc.) Email:
P.O Box 12226 Web:
Beckenham Forum:
Christchurch 8242  
Phone: 03 686 9400 Issue 40 – April 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
Going into Easter, I have been reflecting on happenings of the last couple of weeks. I have been asked to be involved as an expert witness in a High Court action, as I have had dealings with a client about some survey work of my own which has appeared before the Disputes Tribunal, and I have counselled the client of another practitioner very displeased with the service received.

All of these actions would have been considerably alleviated, had reasonableness and good communications been apparent from one or both parties from the outset. Unfortunately, in today’s society, it appears that litigation is being used too much in a first attempt at resolution, although in some instances there is little choice but to progress to a legal process.  My personal experience is that it seldom achieves the desired outcome, leaves a bad taste for those involved, and is very expensive.

It is also important that those in need of representation, are able to engage with surveyors who can advocate for them on what are often complex technical matters, and to then convey those issues to others, in simple terms.  This requires surveyors to be good communicators as well as technical experts in their chosen field. 

I know that with current heavy workloads, it is very easy to pass these opportunities off as being too difficult.  I am also aware that there are really good practitioners out there that do not see themselves as being “authoritative” – though they clearly are. It saddens me to acknowledge that some parties have had difficulty in obtaining good survey “representation” – either by being unable to identify a suitable practitioner or locating one that has available time to devote to investigating and responding on the matter. 

Some decisions made by the Courts in the survey field have already suffered, in my view, from lack of good representation.  Yet these decisions provide case law examples which we are all required to subsequently abide.

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 – Under consultation.  See LINZ Issues and News following. 
  • Cadastral Survey Rules – Publishing date now early May-2021  
  • STEP (formerly ASaTS) – watching brief continues
  • 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) is calling for submissions on proposed new fees for survey and title services offered through the Landonline system. 
See the following link for the full media release and consultation document:
The ICS has compiled a full response to the proposal document.  A draft has been circulated to members for your reference and information. In summary the ICS have identified three key issues of the proposal which we consider need LINZ’s further critical consideration.  
  1. Oppose the survey fee recommendations::  The ICS are disappointed with and oppose the survey fee recommendations set out within the consultation document.  We respectfully request that LINZ review the preferred option solution after consideration of this submission.
  2. Fairness and Equity:  It is apparent that the cadastral users (legal and survey) are being the only ones targeted to pay the costs for the land information system – which includes many other components of the department that are peripheral to the actual functioning and delivery of the services.   This is unfair on the user-payers – our Clients.
  3. Inadequate provision for the “public good” value::  The proposal document acknowledges that the Cadastre as a national asset that provides huge benefits beyond those gained by individual landowners, yet it does not appear to value this asset by way of suggesting any annual government investment into it (rather applying the “user-pays” funding regime).
The ICS Executive will be delivering its detailed submission before the closing date of 9-April-2021.

Post Script:
Just before the final compilation of this months ‘Express, LINZ have released the Feb-2021 Cabinet Paper and Cabinet Committee Minute under “proactive release” on 1-April-2021.  These documents shed some more light on the proposed fees review communications between the department, their Minister, and Cabinet.
The links can be found here: 
LINZ plans to launch the Cadastral Survey Rules 2021 (CSR 2021) on 30 August 2021. This coincides with a new release of Landonline that will capture, validate and certify Cadastral Survey Datasets (CSDs) in terms of CSR 2021.
CSDs for surveys already started under the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010 can still be lodged for another 6 months after that date and will continue to be supported by Landonline. 

The CSR 2021 and the date they come into force will be published on the legislation website in early May 2021.  This early release of the rules will enable surveyors to start taking their provisions into account for CSDs that are likely to be lodged after the August 2021 introduction. LINZ will hold a webinar explaining the transition arrangements, the key changes in the rules, and introduce new guidance material at that time.
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 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 – 9-March-2021
A large family home set on a 1012sqm section in Seatoun, a suburb dominated by expensive bungalows and villas, will soon be replaced with seven townhouses.
Iain Macleod and his neighbours opposed the development on Inglis St. “If this goes through it will take every big section in Seatoun ... they would be fair game for the developers,” he said.  But ultimately, the decision was out of their hands.

Stuff – 11-March-2021
The demand for space for housing developments in Palmerston North is growing faster than land can be freed up – posing a difficult equation for city planners.
As developers warn residential sections have almost entirely sold out, the city council is tasked with trying to stay ahead of housing demand in its draft 10-year plan.
Acting city planning manager Michael Duindam said the biggest problem was all the “low-hanging fruit” had been picked.

Stuff – 17-March-2021
The first map of the floor of Lake Rotomahana in 40 years includes the likely site of the remnants of the famed Pink and White Terraces, largely destroyed in the massive 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera.
Produced by GNS Science, the map has benefited from nearly a decade of data gathering by GNS and its American partners.
“The new map helps put all existing information about the 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption and the geothermal systems under Lake Rotomahana into a much better context,” project leader Cornel de Ronde, of GNS, said.

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 JOHN ROCHFORT (1832-1893)
John Rochfort was one of the great surveyor-engineers who explored, mapped and opened up the young colony of New Zealand for European settlement. 

He was born on 21 May 1832 in London, England, and was trained by the renowned Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who discouraged pupils by charging the enormous premium of £1,000 and asking each to give 'sufficient reason to suppose that he will succeed in the profession'. John Rochfort must have owed a lot to his mentor for his professional attitudes and zest for the unknown. 

In 1852, at the age of 19, he arrived in New Zealand with his brother James.  He was initially employed by the government, surveying in the Wellington area, and then in Rangitikei to survey native reserves.  Discontented with 'the bad pay of a stingy government', Rochfort worked around the Victorian goldfields before returning to England in 1853.  The next year the family emigrated to New Zealand and took up farming and sawmilling in the Motueka district.  

However, in the depressed times of 1858, the venture ceased to prosper, and so John resumed surveying, his work for the Nelson provincial government taking him on daring explorations into the headwaters of the Hurunui, Taramakau and Buller rivers.  His discoveries of gold in the Buller and coal in the Denniston area led to Julius Haast and James Burnett making a detailed mineralogical survey of the locality, in the course of which Haast named the highest peak Mt Rochfort.

In 1865, as district surveyor for the Canterbury provincial government, Rochfort in company with Captain F. D. Gibson examined the port potential of all the West Coast rivers down to Bruce Bay. In the same year he laid out the town of Greymouth and received a New Zealand Exhibition bronze medal for his explorations of the West Coast.  In 1869 he re-entered general government service and from 1870 to 1871 laid out the line of the Rimutaka railway.  In 1872 he worked briefly as surveyor in charge of plotting and computing for the Canterbury government, but soon rejoined the general government service and surveyed the Buller Gorge railway.  From 1874 to 1876 he was engineer to the Timaru and Gladstone Board of Works and became an authorised surveyor in 1878.

In 1883 Rochfort commenced an engineering reconnaissance of the North Island Main Trunk Railway. In spite of strong opposition from Maori, who forced back his party at gunpoint three times, held Rochfort prisoner at Papatupu (near Ohakune) for three days, and would not divulge Maori names for topographical features, the work was completed by 1887.  His later years were spent in the Waikato region, surveying sections for the Native Land Court.

The record describes a restless spirit, although there is no suggestion that John Rochfort had a difficult personality.  His stamina and stoicism were remarkable.  He nearly died of starvation and exposure when, as a 20-year-old, he was among the earliest Europeans to cross the North Island from Rangitikei to Hawke's Bay via the Ruahine Range.  He made light of the matter: 'My tinder had become so damp, from exposure, that I could not even get a light for my pipe. I had now walked about forty-five miles without food, and there was no prospect of getting any till the following day.' While searching for gold in Australia, he 'was seized with diarrhoea, and when the disorder had continued eight days, I made up my mind to go down to Melbourne. An ulcer also came upon the bottom of my foot, and in this condition I walked a hundred miles in the next three days.'

Perhaps Rochfort's greatest talent lay in his unerring instinct for the lie of the country, a sense which took the youth across the Ruahine Range and enabled the man to prospect the line for the North Island Main Trunk Railway through the uncharted interior.  The route he proposed was subject to fierce criticism – there were inquiries and commissions as late as 1900 – but finally it was accepted that there was no other general route superior to that reconnoitred by Rochfort.  More than a century later the railway still followed the line John Rochfort had selected.

The records say much of the man but the essence of Rochfort is to be found in the remarkable little book he wrote at 21, “The Adventures of a Surveyor in New Zealand”.  It is a rollicking tale from a high-spirited young man who gave two bottles of grog to a ferryman to drop the doctrinaire missionary, William Colenso, in the sea, where 'he lay at full length like a half-tide rock'; and who described a furious landlady demanding recompense from him for 'three wine glasses, an arm-chair, and a wash-hand basin, all of which were killed or wounded in the last night's engagement'.  Small wonder that the solemn surveyor gazing from a portrait photograph retains the hint of a twinkle in his eye.

John Rochfort married Amelia Lewis in Nelson in May 1867 (his second marriage), and went on to have five daughters and two sons.  He died of heart disease aged 60 on 8 March 1893 at Kihikihi, while still working.

Sources (Text and Images):
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
12 April 2021 Professional Examinations
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 – location to be confirmed
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
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” – Groucho Marx (1890-1977) – American Comedian, Actor, Writer)
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.
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Insurance consultancy provided by AON New Zealand Ltd.
Contact: Katische Remnant, AON New Zealand, (04) 819 4152 or email
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