Geodesy in New Zealand

LINZ is responsible for determining and maintaining the accurate and complete measurements and location of New Zealand's physical features. We ensure the methods used for measuring, storing and converting this geodetic information are sound and compatible with international standards.

The geodetic system

New Zealand's geodetic system provides the underlying measurements used in producing topographic maps and hydrographic charts, and is an essential tool in setting and identifying property boundaries (find out more in our about guide to land surveying and title registration). It is also fundamental to enabling data from different sources to be combined and compared, for example in coordinate conversion.

The geodetic system can be used to determine building positions for construction and property development, and for the placement and location of utility services such as power and gas.

The physical component of the geodetic system is a network of trig stations and geodetic marks that serve as physical reference points.

Mapping information

Having a unique set of positions (coordinates) for the landscape's physical features enables grids to be placed on maps, locations to be accurately identified and distances measured. This information is vital for essential emergency services (for example, fire, ambulance and police) and recreational activities such as tramping, marine navigation or even driving between two cities.

Find out more about:

Using coordinates

You can search for geodetic marks to find out coordinates (such as latitude and longitude) for any geodetic mark in New Zealand, including the offshore islands (eg Chatham Island) and the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.

An online conversions tool is available to change data between datums and projections, so that a variety of data and products can be obtained.

Who uses the geodetic system?

New Zealand's geodetic system is used by:

  • surveyors and land professionals
  • government departments and local authorities
  • utility providers such as power, gas and telecommunications companies
  • emergency services
  • trampers and hikers
  • mariners.

Find out more about geodetic standards and publications in New Zealand.

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