The physical component of New Zealand's geodetic system is a network of control marks that serve as physical reference points. A number of these marks are black and white trig beacons, seen on the tops of hills, or steel pins set into concrete in urban areas.

These marks are used by surveyors to determine the location of property boundaries in relation to the official geodetic datum.

Protection and maintenance of survey marks


Thousands of vital survey marks exist in New Zealand. Many of them are below or at ground level and not noticed by most of us.

People involved in construction work are responsible for making sure survey marks are not damaged. When building works have the potential to destroy existing cadastral and geodetic marks, Toitū Te Whenua needs to be notified so that it can assess whether the marks should be reinstated or replaced. Find out more about looking after the national survey network.

If you notice a damaged survey mark, you can report it to Toitū Te Whenua by filling out a form on this website.

For more information, see Survey mark protection

Search the geodetic database


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

    The geodetic database provides information about:

    • the type of mark
    • its coordinate
    • location diagram
    • beacons
    • site photographs.

    The results can also be obtained in a KML format for viewing in Google Earth.

    Continuously operating GNSS reference stations

    Toitū Te Whenua operates the PositioNZ network of continuously operating GNSS reference stations (CORS), which accurately connect the New Zealand Geodetic Datum with the global geodetic reference frames.  

    Sea level monitoring stations

    Toitū Te Whenua collects data using sea level gauges at different locations in New Zealand. This will eventually form part of a national network for monitoring tsunamis.

    We prepare tidal information from data provided by port companies, regional councils and the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research.

    Contact Kōrero whakapā

    Got a query about the geodetic system? 

    Email our Customer support team: