Find out general information and key rules about water boundaries.

Water boundaries come in many shapes and sizes. Under the RCS 2010 Water boundaries can be:

  • accepted
  • adopted
  • defined by survey.

Some CSDs will have a combination of these levels of boundary definition. The general rule of thumb is to take the line of least resistance for your client – ie. if you can accept or adopt, do this before defining by survey.

The following is a link to the 2014 NZIS LINZ Water Boundary Webinar which gives an overview of water boundary definition.

Key rules:

  • Rule 6.3(a)(v), (b) or (c) – accepting water boundaries.
  • Rules 6.2 – adopted water boundaries.
  • Rule 6.1 – defining by survey.
  • Rule 3.4 – accuracy of all water boundaries except accepted water boundaries.
  • Rule 6.7 – dealing with a water boundary when the water body has moved due to accretion, artificial deviation etc.
  • Parcels: accretion, erosion, dried up bed [9.6.3(a), 10.4.2(a)].
  • Rule 9.6.7 and 10.4.5 – CSD plan and Title plan.
  • Notations: name, accretion, erosion [9.6.3(h), 10.4.2(f)].
  • Estate boundaries [9.6.3(h), 10.4.2(f)].
  • Rule 5.1 - accounting for whole of parcel.
  • Rule 9.4(c) - physical description.
  • Rule 9.4(b) - adoption reference.
  • Rules 8.1(d)& 9.6.13(c) - vectors to end and intermediary points.

Top tips:

  • Watch the Water Boundary Webinar.
  • Investigate to confirm that you are dealing with a water boundary (not an irregular boundary).
  • Use a process of elimination to minimise compliance costs for your client.
  • If the land is on the coast or adjoining a tidal river, determine whether the CSD is affected by the Marine and Coastal Area Act
    Read about common marine and coastal area considerations for surveyors 
  • Be sure to account for the whole of the parcel. 
    View Survey of tidal boundaries for more information on accounting for the whole of a parcel that has an existing MHWM boundary.
  • Rule 6.7 only applies where there has been movement in physical water’s edge and provides a mechanism for dealing with the legal boundary.
  • Report thoroughly in terms of Rules 8.2(a)(x) and (xii) (as appropriate)  - Many water boundaries requisitions are issued due to a lack of reporting.
Last Updated: 9 September 2016