Note: this guideline is issued by the Surveyor-General under section 7(1)(ga) of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002 about the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010 and is not legally binding.

The following information relates to the different types of parcels and their uses, including primary and non-primary parcels, balance and residue parcels, extinguished and underlying parcels.

Primary parcel

A primary parcel is any parcel that is or is intended to be:

  • owned by the Crown, with the exception of a movable marginal strip
  • held in fee simple
  • Māori freehold land or Māori customary land
  • part of the common marine and coastal area
  • the bed of a lake or river
  • road or railway
  • vested in a local authority

Balance parcels and residue parcels are primary parcels.

Parcel type for part of the bed of a river or lake to vest

The land must be depicted as a new primary parcel where it is part of the bed of a river or lake to vest under s 237A(1)(a) of the Resource Management Act 1991.

Refer to water bed to vest

Parcel type for common marine and coastal area

The land must be depicted as a new primary parcel where it is to become part of the common marine and coastal area under s 237A(b) of the Resource Management Act 1991.

The land must be depicted as a residue parcel where it was held by the Crown or local authority but which is now part of the common marine and coastal area pursuant to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (MACAA).

Refer to Marine and Coastal Area Act (MACAA) and recording common marine and coastal area in a CSD

Primary parcels to be used for reclassification of reserve land

Land must be depicted as a primary parcel, where it is subject to a declaration as a reserve or is a reclassification of part of an existing reserve under the Reserves Act 1977.

This differs from past policy where some reserve reclassifications were graphically described in accordance with the Surveyor-General's Graphic Descriptions Policy 2000/2.

Non-primary parcel

 A non-primary parcel is any parcel that is not a primary parcel.

Non-primary parcels are often referred to as secondary or tertiary parcels. These are topology classes used for non-primary parcels in Landonline. When the Rules are being applied, the term non-primary parcel should be used.

Witnessing non-primary parcel boundary points

In general, non-primary parcel boundary points are not required to be witnessed. For circumstances where these points are to be witnessed,

Refer to witnessing non-primary parcel boundary points

Movable marginal strips are non-primary parcels

A movable marginal strip is land owned by the Crown, a status that usually applies only to primary parcels.

Notwithstanding Crown ownership, a movable marginal strip parcel is to be treated as a non-primary parcel within the appropriate primary parcel. This distinction is made to give effect to Part 4A of the Conservation Act 1987 which does not require the strip to be excluded from the title linked to that primary parcel.

The Rules do not require new movable marginal strips to be surveyed where land is subject to Part 4A of the Conservation Act 1987. It is, however, Government policy to depict these strips where Crown-owned land is being prepared for disposal.  Note that the Department of Conservation has produced a guideline to assist surveyors identify water bodies that qualify for marginal strips (refer to DOCDM – 192684: The Identification of Water Bodies that will qualify for Marginal Strips, Department of Conservation, Wellington).

Where a movable marginal strip is included in a CSD (including where required by the Crown or landowner or where it already exists spatially), the extent of the non-primary parcel is to be depicted [r 9.6.3(a) and 10.4.2(a)].

Read more about recording movable marginal strip and esplanade strip parcels

Walkway parcel may be primary or non-primary parcel

Walkways may be created by an easement or lease over land, in which case the parcel will be a non-primary parcel. Alternatively, the land may be purchased, in which case the parcel would be a primary parcel (refer to ss 26 and 29 of the Walking Access Act 2008).

Balance primary parcel

Historically, where a large existing parcel was subdivided into a new small parcel and a new large parcel, the term 'balance parcel' was used informally when referring to the new large parcel. This use is not correct in terms of the current Rules and should not be used in association with a CSD. The term ‘balance parcel’ now only applies to portions of railway (not in a record of title), road, fixed marginal strip or water bed that are intended to remain after a part has been removed by survey (refer to rule 2).

Balance parcels of road

Although a road appears to be a long undivided corridor of public land, it is divided up into separate polygons in the spatial view of Landonline.

When part of a road is to be stopped, the affected road polygon is divided into the road stopping parcel and the balance parcel.

Diagram showing balance parcel in case of road stopping
Figure 1: Balance parcel in case of road stopping

Boundaries may be accepted for balance parcels

The existing boundaries of a balance parcel that are not common with another new parcel on the survey may be accepted [r 6.3(b)], in which case they are:

  • not required to meet any accuracy standards (refer to the definition of accept), and
  • are class D [r 3.2.4].

Accretion and erosion parcels

Accretion and balance parcels

Although the bed of a lake, river, stream, or the sea appears as an undivided hydro-parcel, it is divided into separate polygons in the spatial view of Landonline.

Where accretion or the usque ad medium filum aquae presumption is being claimed, the claimed portion is incorporated into the new primary parcel and the remainder of the hydro parcel not claimed is a balance parcel.

Note that the term hydro parcel is a term associated with Landonline and is not used in the Rules.

Refer to recording water boundaries

Diagram showing example of accretion
Figure 2: Example of accretion

Erosion and residue parcels

In the case of erosion, the extinguished primary parcel is divided into two new primary parcels; a 'dry' primary parcel and a 'wet' residue parcel (the erosion).

The new residue parcel of erosion is normally given the parcel intent 'hydro' so that it can be associated with the adjoining lake, river, stream, or the sea. 

Note that the term erosion is not a parcel intent in Landonline.

Refer to recording water boundaries

Diagram showing erosion 'hydro' parcel
Figure 3: Erosion 'hydro' parcel

Balance non-primary parcel

Partial surrender of an existing easement

Where the purpose of a CSD is to depict as a non-primary parcel the extent of an existing easement that is to be surrendered, the balance non-primary parcel will be the portion of the original easement that will be retained.

Note, a 'balance non-primary parcel' is rarely used. Normally a CSD would include existing easements that are to remain after deposit [r 10.2.2].

Refer to recording balance non-primary parcels

Diagram showing surrender of part of a non-primary parcel
Figure 4: Surrender of part of a non-primary parcel

Residue parcel

Read aboutresidue parcels

Extinguished parcel

The term 'extinguished parcel' applies to a parcel that will disappear as a result of the survey and be replaced by one or more new parcels.

Note that although, historically, the term ‘extinguished parcel’ has been used to mean 'the parcel being subdivided', this term should now only be used as defined in the Rules.

Underlying parcel

The term 'underlying parcel' applies to a parcel that will remain intact as a result of the survey, but will be encumbered by a non-primary parcel.  It is the servient parcel.

Note that although, historically, the term 'underlying parcel' has been used to mean 'the parcel being subdivided', the term underlying parcel must now be used according to the definition provided in the Rules.

Relationship of easement to underlying primary parcel

In most cases, the underlying parcel for an easement will be a primary parcel.

Diagram showing underlying primary parcel
Figure 5: Underlying primary parcel

Underlying parcel can be a non-primary parcel

There are circumstances where an underlying parcel is not necessarily a primary parcel. Two examples are:

  • Where an easement will be created over a lease parcel. In this case, the lease parcel (a non-primary parcel) is encumbered and is therefore the underlying parcel. The primary parcel on which the lease sits is not affected and therefore is not the underlying parcel.
  • Where an easement will be created over common property, or over a unit, as part of a unit title development.  Similar to the above example, the common property or unit (a non-primary parcel) is encumbered and is therefore the underlying parcel. The primary parcel the unit development sits on is not affected and therefore is not the underlying parcel.
Last Updated: 12 November 2018
Authority: Surveyor-General - Section 7(1)(ga) of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002
LINZ OP G : 00094