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 rule 7.1 and when a boundary point must be marked.

Because landowners are entitled to rely on boundary marks as being the definitive markers of their estate, it is essential that:

  • they are placed whenever the boundary is potentially in dispute, and 
  • when they are placed, they are recognisable.

Meaning of the term 'practicable'

Practicable [r 7.1] applies to the circumstance where it is reasonably possible in practice to achieve the requirement.  This generally includes circumstances where ground marking is difficult or inconvenient.

When requirement to mark boundaries applies

The requirement to mark boundary points applies only to primary parcels.

Ground marking of boundary points associated with non-primary parcels, including rights of way, is not required by the Rules.

Boundary marking when land is Crown land or Māori land

Where a boundary point is common to new parcels that are all intended to remain in Crown ownership, or the point is on a survey under the jurisdiction of the Māori Land Court, then the point is not required to be ground marked [r 7.1(a)(i) and (ii)].

Note that these boundary points are required to be witnessed [r 7.3.1] and the survey must include PRMs [r 7.4.1].

The Crown agency commissioning the survey, or the Māori Land Court, might specify ground marking where they consider it appropriate.

Boundary marking when boundary is in common ownership

A boundary point is not required to be marked where the point is common to parcels that are required to be, or as a result of the survey will be required to be, held in common ownership [r 7.1(a)(iii)]. An example of this is when the parcels are subject to a compulsory amalgamation condition under the Resource Management Act 1991.

However, this exemption does not apply to those cases where two adjoining parcels will be held in common ownership without any legal requirement to be held together.  In this case, the points are to be marked.

Boundary marking when position is not required to be located

A boundary point is not required to be marked where the point is unlikely to be needed to be physically located in the foreseeable future because of the terrain, ground cover, or protected vegetation [r 7.1(a)(v)].

Examples include boundary points coinciding with a cliff face or within current or intended bush covenants.

Boundary marking segregation strips

Where an existing primary parcel is being subdivided and a new segregation strip created to adjoin an existing road, the common boundary of the segregation strip with the road:

  • must be defined by survey in the case of a parcel in class A less than 0.4 ha [r 6.2], or
  • may be defined by adoption in other cases [r 6.4].  Note, the criteria for accepting a boundary will never be able to be met in these circumstances.

Irrespective of class, these boundary points are not required to be marked [r 7.1(a)(iii)].

Where a new road and segregation strip are being created at the same time, the new common boundary of the segregation strip with the road must be defined by survey [r 6.2(a)(ii)], but it is not required to be marked [r 7.1(a)(iii)].

Marking boundaries when occupation is at boundary point

A boundary point is not required to be marked where the point is readily identifiable by occupation along the boundary [r 7.1(a)(vi)].  Note that where the offset of a fence or post exceeds the accuracy standard, the new boundary point must be marked.

Figure describing occupation in regard to a boundary point
Figure 1: Occupation in regard to a boundary point

Note: Although the above diagram depicts 'fence symbology', the Rules do not include specific symbols for depicting fences, but rule 9.5(a) does require that the feature be described.

Marking boundaries where there is conflict

A boundary or boundary point that is required to be defined by survey because there is conflict [r 6.2(a)(vi)] must be marked where practicable unless there is already a reliable boundary mark in place [r 7.1(b)].

Marked boundaries to be defined and witnessed

In those cases where a boundary mark is placed, the mark is to be:

  • defined by survey [r 6.2(a)(ii) and (v)], and
  • witnessed [r 7.3.1(c)].

The survey report must record when rule 7.1 is used as an exemption from marking [r 8.2(a)(xiii) and (xiv)].

Last Updated: 4 April 2017
Authority: Surveyor-General - Section 7(1)(ga) of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002
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