Meridional circuits

Meridional circuits divide the country into a set of survey regions, used to define a local projection for mapping purposes. The Cadastral Survey Rules 2021 require that the NZGD2000 (New Zealand Geodetic Datum 2000) Transverse Mercator 2000 Meridional Circuit projections are used for cadastral surveyors.

There are 28 meridional circuits (9 in the North Island and 19 in the South Island) which make up the set of survey regions used in New Zealand. The term "meridional" refers to the fact that these circuits are run in a north-south direction, aligned with “meridians” of longitude. 

A map showing the locations of each of the 28 meridional circuits is provided below. These boundaries are also available through the LINZ Data Service:

NZ Meridional Circuit Boundaries (NZGD2000)

Map of New Zealand showing the NZGD2000 Meridional Circuits

Map of New Zealand, with the boundaries of the meridional circuits shown in orange. There are 28 meridional circuits in total - 9 in the North Island and 19 in the South Island.

Each meridional circuit is its own projection. A projection is used to convert points on a 3-dimensional curved surface of the Earth onto a 2-dimensional flat surface. Unlike geodetic datums, which are used to maintain coordinate accuracy, projections deliberately distort the data so that these can be shown on paper or screens.

The original meridional circuits were established in 1877 to support the implementation of cadastral surveying in New Zealand. The horizontal coordinates in the original meridional circuits used a “plane” coordinate systems with no formal mathematical projection to account for the curvature of the Earth. In 1949 these circuits were upgraded to transverse Mercator projections, a cylinder-shaped projection that is suited for depicting areas, like New Zealand, which extend in a north-south direction. These were referred to as “Circuit 1949” to distinguish them from both the original circuits.

The current meridional circuits are also transverse Mercator projections, but they are now based on New Zealand Geodetic Datum 2000 (NZGD2000) and the origin of each circuit no longer relates to a physical mark. These latest circuits are referred to as “Circuit 2000”.

New Zealand Geodetic Datum 2000 (NZGD2000)

While New Zealand Transverse Mercator 2000 (NZTM2000) is used for official topographic mapping purposes in mainland New Zealand, cadastral surveys are conducted in terms of the local meridional circuit. Learn more about Cadastral Survey Rules implementation, or access the Cadastral Survey Rules 2021 on the New Zealand legislation website:

The meridional circuits are defined in the LINZ standard LINZS25002:

Standard for New Zealand Geodetic Datum 2000 Projections

The key parameters for the meridional circuits are summarised in the table below
NameSee table below
AbbreviationSee table below
Projection typeTransverse Mercator
Reference ellipsoidGRS80
Origin latitudeSee table below
Origin longitude / central meridanSee table below
False Northing800,000 metres North
False Easting400,000 metres East
Central meridian scale factorSee table below
Circuit nameAbbreviationEPSG numberOrigin latitudeOrigin longitudeCentral meridian scale factor
Mount Eden 2000EDENTM2000210536° 52' 47" S174° 45' 51" E0.9999
Bay of Plenty 2000PLENTM2000210637° 45' 40" S176° 27' 58" E1.00000
Poverty Bay 2000POVETM2000210738° 37' 28" S177° 53' 08" E1.00000
Hawkes Bay 2000HAWKTM2000210839° 39' 03" S176° 40' 25" E1.00000
Taranaki 2000TARATM2000210939° 08' 08" S174° 13' 40" E1.00000
Tuhirangi 2000TUHITM2000211039° 30' 44" S175° 38' 24" E1.00000
Wanganui 2000WANGTM2000211140° 14' 31" S175° 29' 17" E1.00000
Wairarapa 2000WAIRTM2000211240° 55' 31" S175° 38' 50" E1.00000
Wellington 2000WELLTM2000211341° 18' 04" S174° 46' 35" E1.00000
Collingwood 2000COLLTM2000211440° 42' 53" S172° 40' 19" E1.00000
Nelson 2000NELSTM2000211541° 16' 28" S173° 17' 57" E1.00000
Karamea 2000KARATM2000211641° 17' 23" S172° 06' 32" E1.00000
Buller 2000BULLTM2000211741° 48' 38" S171° 34' 52" E1.00000
Grey 2000GREYTM2000211842° 20' 01" S171° 32' 59" E1.00000
Amuri 2000AMURTM2000211942° 41' 20" S173° 00' 36" E1.00000
Marlborough 2000MARLTM2000212041° 32' 40" S173° 48' 07" E1.00000
Hokitika 2000HOKITM2000212142° 53' 10" S170° 58' 47" E1.00000
Okarito 2000OKARTM2000212243° 06' 36" S170° 15' 39" E1.00000
Jacksons Bay 2000JACKTM2000212343° 58' 40" S168° 36' 22" E1.00000
Mount Pleasant 2000PLEATM2000212443° 35' 26" S172° 43' 37" E1.00000
Gawler 2000GAWLTM2000212543° 44' 55" S171° 21' 38" E1.00000
Timaru 2000TIMATM2000212644° 24' 07" S171° 03' 26" E1.00000
Lindis Peak 2000LINDTM2000212744° 44' 06" S169° 28' 03" E1.00000
Mount Nicholas 2000NICHTM2000212845° 07' 58" S168° 23' 55" E1.00000
Mount York 2000YORKTM2000212945° 33' 49" S167° 44' 19" E1.00000
Observation Point 2000OBSETM2000213045° 48' 58" S170° 37' 42" E1.00000
North Taieri 2000TAIETM2000213145° 51' 41" S170° 16' 57" E0.99996
Bluff 2000BLUFTM2000213246° 36' 00" S168° 20' 34" E1.00000
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