The survey report is a critical part of a Cadastral Survey Dataset and should contain all of the elements required by rule 8.2 and lodgement standard 7.

Incorrect or incomplete reporting accounts for almost 10% of requisitions – this article contains tips to help you avoid  common reporting non-compliance.

Some key points

  • Rule 8.2(a) sets out 16 requirements (i-xvi) that must be addressed in the survey report. 
  • Rules 8.2(b) (i) and (ii) provide for situations where the required information is either located elsewhere in the CSD (this must be stated in the report) or is not required. 
  • Where information is required, it should provide the right level of detail.  The requirements include providing the “basis”, “details”, “reasons”, “assessment” and “decisions” pertaining to the survey.  Very high-level or general comments may be adequate on simple surveys, but are generally not sufficient. For example, ‘All boundaries and intersections with existing boundaries have been defined by survey’ does not provide enough information.

Detail to include

The information you include should provide enough detail to support the decisions made. For example:

Purpose of the survey

Explain the outcome the survey is intended to achieve. Reference to relevant legislation is often helpful, particularly for Survey Office (SO) CSDs. For instance:

  • To define parcels to be acquired for road and road stopping under Part 8 of the Public Works Act; or
  • To create 3 primary parcels using the subdivision provisions of the RMA 1991; or
  • To define a portion of deeds land to be brought under the Land Transfer Act 2017

Orientation and adjustments

Explain the basis for determining the orientation of bearings and any bearing or scale adjustment  applied.

Read about obtaining and proving orientation.

Read about applying bearing adjustments.

If a prior survey has applied an adjustment, and your survey does not, the report should explain why. 


Give details of any boundary conflict (see definition of ‘conflict’ in rule 2) that has been found and how this was resolved. If this is included in the section of the report on definition, the information doesn’t have to be repeated in the conflict section.

Old survey marks

Explain the reasons for not relying on an old survey mark, list those marks searched for and not located, and explain why any relevant marks were not searched for. Include an assessment of the adequacy of the number and location of old survey marks used to define boundaries.

Existing boundaries defined by survey

Give reasons for and details of decisions made regarding each existing boundary defined by survey, and the information considered in order to reach those decisions.  Relevant evidence could include whether adjoining titles have been respected, occupation that has been considered etc. In complex cases you may like to attach and refer to a calculation sheet/diagram etc.

Water and irregular boundaries

Information about the accuracy of determination of any water boundary or irregular boundary and the factors taken into account, as specified in rule 3.4.  Relevant information includes whether the boundary has been adopted/accepted or fixed, and the rules/evidence considered to make these decisions.

Rules 16, 17 and 18 requirements

Note the additional reporting requirements for Class C covenant parcels (rule 16.5), non-primary parcels where the underlying parcel boundaries are not accurate (rule 17.2) and for boundaries affected by ground movement (rule 18.4).

Pre-validation reporting

Actions taken to address the C-rule conflicts and warning messages, and all adjustment report test failures and warning messages (Lodgement Standard 7), i.e. where they are material to the survey and haven’t been reported elsewhere in the survey report.

Automated Survey Report

The optional automated survey report is automatically populated with some information from your captured data. You are then required to provide a comment, which in some instances is mandatory and in others optional. In providing your comment you should include sufficient explanation and justification for the decisions made and answers given. This may simply be ’Not applicable’ eg. in cases where no bearing swing has been applied or where there are no existing easements. More detail, explanation and justification is needed in cases where the rules specifically require it.

Watch and read about the automated survey report

Replacement SUD for Automated Survey Report

In some situations, we may contact you to request an amended report rather than sending the CSD back on requisition.  If the optional automated survey report has been used, it is possible for you to do the amendments without us  sending the CSD back, provided the amendments are to the comments only and don’t require changes to the yes/no answers of the radio buttons. You can access the Survey Report tab in Manage Survey Transaction even after having submitted the CSD. To do this, simply make the amendments, export the amended survey report as a TIFF image or print as a PDF, and email it to the Property Rights Analyst (PRA) processing the CSD. These changes cannot be saved within the CSD.

Last Updated: 11 January 2019