A guide on how to apply for a dispensation from the Rules or the Lodgement Standard.

Dispensation requests are made to seek an exemption from the requirements of the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010 (the Rules) and the Standard for Lodgement of Cadastral Survey Datasets - LINZS70000 (the Lodgement Standard).

Both applications are made using ‘Survey_Survey Dispensation’ request in Landonline.  Your application must be clear as to whether your request relates to the Rules or the Lodgement Standard, as the applications are dealt with by different teams within LINZ.

A request for a dispensation should include the following information:

  • The rule/s or standard/s you are seeking exemption from.
  • the reasons that the surveyor signing the dataset considers the requirements of the rule/s or standard/s are impractical or unreasonable,
  • a diagram of the full extent of the land under survey showing the proposed new parcels, approximate areas, title references, any amalgamation details and relevant abuttals (examples are a scheme plan or draft CSD diagram). 
    Note that:
  1. LINZ is not able to view your spatial view and can only view plan diagrams once the ‘complete’ button has been pushed in Plan Generation.
  2. Colour images must be uploaded to Landonline in JPEG format.
  • The purpose of the survey (particularly where it is not an LT subdivision).

Some tips:

  • Where the dispensation relates to boundary accuracies, please include analysis in terms of rule accuracy classes, as opposed to miscloses and RFs. It is often useful to attach a colour-coded diagram with boundaries highlighted specific colours based on the accuracy class that can be achieved.
  • If the dispensation relates to witnessing/referencing, please include the distances to the nearest witness/reference marks from the relevant boundary points.

Exemptions from the Rules

Section 47(5) of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002 permits the Surveyor-General to grant a licensed cadastral surveyor an exemption from one or more of the requirements of the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010 (Rules), or specify alternative requirements in situations, where compliance is considered impractical or unreasonable.

The granting of an exemption or specification of alternative requirements is commonly referred to as a survey dispensation. The dispensation becomes part of the rules for the purpose of the surveyor's certification for that survey [s 47(6) of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002]. The surveyor must either fully comply with the terms of the granted dispensation or with the normal rule(s).

Applications are treated on a case-by-case basis so a previous decision may provide some guidance but does not set a precedent.  The approval of a dispensation is based on information provided by the surveyor prior to carrying out a cadastral survey.  The decision depends on whether compliance with a rule requirement is impractical or unreasonable. Factors taken onto account include:  

  • the impact on the cadastre and the affected land tenure. Where necessary the tenure manager (e.g., Registrar-General of Land or Māori Land Court) will be consulted.
  • the risks to the Crown and future landowners (amongst other things). In this respect, the nature of any new land right is a fundamental consideration rather than the purpose of the survey.

Exemptions from the Lodgement Standard

Item 3(b) of the Standard for lodgement of cadastral survey datasets - LINZS70000 states that:

If the Chief Executive considers that compliance with (a) is impractical or unreasonable, the Chief Executive may:

  1. grant an exemption from the requirements, or
  2. specify alternative requirements.

As with a dispensation from the Rules, applications are considered on a case by case basis.

How to apply for a dispensation

  • dispensation requests should be made as a Landonline request using the ‘Survey_Survey Dispensation’ option.  Details of the request can be captured directly into the Notes/Comments dialogue box or attached as a supporting document.  Note that the dialogue box has a limited space to capture text (less than half an A4 page).  It is therefore recommended that an attached supporting document outlining the request is used to avoid the risk of running out of space. 
  • If the request is complex with a lot of supporting documentation it may exceed the Landonline upload limits. In this instance, please include a note in your request stating that you have further information and the LINZ staff member processing your request can contact you to arrange the data to be sent by email or drop box.

Rules for Cadastral Survey exemption patterns

While applications are treated on a case-by-case basis some patterns have emerged since the introduction of the Rules: 

  • Rule 3.4 (accuracy of water boundaries and irregular boundaries). The determination of whether the current position of a water boundary represents (within the accuracy standards of rule 3.4) the original fix is sometimes mistakenly considered too onerous.  In rural situations this can usually be confirmed from suitable imagery – fieldwork is often not needed.  In these cases a dispensation to reduce the class of accuracy is not approved.
  • Rule 6.2 (boundaries to be defined by survey).  Exemptions have been granted in urban and rural areas enabling boundaries to be defined by adoption rather than defined by survey.  This can be where existing boundaries are associated with a very recent survey and the surveyor has been able to confirm the current accuracy standards are able to be met and sufficient reliable witness marks still remain in place.     
  • Rule 6.3 (acceptance of a boundary).  There have been cases where an existing boundary has been permitted to be accepted rather than be defined by adoption where the new parcel size is very close to the threshold of 80% or 20 ha criteria set out in Rule 6.3(a)(i) or 100ha criteria set out in 6.3(c).
  • Rule 6.6 (irregular boundary).  Surveyors are encouraged to apply for a dispensation from rule 6.6(a) allowing an existing irregular boundary that follows the centreline of a stream or river to remain an irregular boundary.  This is consistent with the application of rule 20.9 (water body centreline boundaries) which only applies to surveys in greater Christchurch.  Also, where a new non-primary parcel boundary is intended to be coincident with a boundary of an underlying primary parcel that is not being created by the survey, an exemption from rule 6.6(a) must be requested.
  • Rule 7.1 (boundaries to be marked).  Dispensation from boundary marking is commonly applied for where it is impracticable to mark a boundary point. Surveyors can save time in these situations by making their own decisions in terms of rule 7.1.  In addition surveyors can make their own interpretation of the words ‘where practicable’ in the opening sentence of rule 7.1, as this allows for boundary points to not be marked where this is not practicable.  Note that where there is a health and safety risk it can be considered impracticable to ground mark.
    In both cases it is important that the reasons for not marking a boundary are clearly documented in the Survey Report (refer to rules 8.2(a)(xiii) and (xiv)). This should include a reference to the applicable clause under 7.1(a) in the case of an exemption.
  • Rules 7.3 (witnessing of boundary points) and 7.4 (permanent marks).  Seldom are the witnessing or permanent reference mark requirements fully exempted, however there have been circumstances where the distances of these marks to boundary points set out in rule 7.3.2 and 7.4.2 have been extended.  Also, please note that rule 7.3.1 requires non-primary parcel boundary points to be witnessed when they are ground marked, stratum points or for the purposes of a lease.  Other non-primary parcel boundary points are not required to be witnessed.
Last Updated: 7 December 2018