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This is a Cadastral Survey Guideline relating to the Cadastral Survey Rules 2021.

Guidance on meeting the requirements of the Cadastral Survey Rules 2021, Land Transfer Act 2017 and Landonline capture for cadastral survey datasets (CSDs) supporting Applications.

What is an Application CSD?

An Application CSD is a dataset that has been prepared to support an application to the Registrar General of Land (RGL) for a record of title under the Land Transfer Act 2017 (LTA 2017). The land subject to the application must be adequately defined (s 224 LTA 2017) and an Application CSD is often prepared to satisfy this requirement.

The application will usually involve land that is not already included in or depicted on a record of title owned by the applicant. Examples include:

  • Voluntary application to bring land under the Land Transfer Act (ss 171-183 LTA 2017)
  • Application for record of title to access strip (ss 184-195 LTA 2017)
  • Application for record of title based on adverse possession
  • Application to update title for accretion and erosion
  • Application for title to dry bed
  • Application for removal of interim status of title.

The status and ownership of the subject land is an important factor in determining the type of application that can be made or whether a claim can be made at all. If there is uncertainty about the ownership and status of land then it is advisable to obtain a status report from a suitably qualified or accredited supplier. It is also advisable for the surveyor and solicitor lodging the application to liaise early in the process to determine what evidence needs to be collected and to confirm that the application has a reasonable chance of success.

Where the sole purpose of the CSD is to support an application for title then a survey purpose of ‘Application’ should be used. Where the CSD involves an application and another Land Transfer transaction such as a subdivision or removal of limitations, then either ‘Application’ or the survey purpose for the other transaction can be used.

The basic requirements for an Application CSD tend to be similar across most application types and primarily reflect the information that the RGL considers necessary to ‘adequately define’ the land in terms of section 224 LTA 2017. Typically, the boundaries of the land subject to the application will need to be defined by survey and marked, and occupation information will usually need to be provided along those boundaries to provide evidence of possession.

Refer to CSD requirements

Types of Applications

Voluntary application to bring land under the Land Transfer Act

The majority of all privately owned land in New Zealand is now subject to the Land Transfer Act (LTA). Any land remaining in the Deeds system is there either because of historical reasons (e.g. residues created due to adverse occupation when land was brought under the LTA), or because it was not economically viable for an application to be made. 

Applications by documentary owners to bring Deeds land under the LTA are now rare, and most of the remaining Deeds land is likely to be occupied by someone other than the documentary owner.

Occasionally a public body (such as a Council) or private body corporate may make an application based on derivation of title directly through the documentary owner. Equally a private individual or individuals may be able to show that they are entitled to the land through the estate of the documentary owner.

Sections 171 – 183 LTA 2017 set out the requirements and procedures for an application. 

The land must have been alienated or contracted to have been alienated from the Crown. Applications cannot be made in respect of Māori land or land that is already subject to the LTA. 

The application cannot include land that is in possession adverse to the estate of the applicant.

Evidence required to accompany the application includes: 

  • the original Crown grant or other instrument showing alienation from the Crown 
  • the affected Deeds Index
  • copies of documents showing the chain of title
  • any other unregistered documents that support the application. 

It is advisable for the surveyor preparing the CSD to check these documents for any evidence that is relevant to the definition of boundaries.

The new record of title will issue subject to existing interests which may require the creation of non-primary parcels in the CSD.

Application for record of title to access strip

Section 185 LTA 2017 allows a landowner who adjoins an ‘access strip’ to apply for title to the access strip. Section 184 of the Act defines an ‘access strip’ as land that has been set aside in a subdivision to provide access to lots in the subdivision but has never been accepted or declared by a territorial authority to be road, street, service lane or access way.

Sections 184 – 195 LTA 2017 set out the requirements and process for obtaining title. 

Depending on the layout of the strip and the number of adjoining owners, an application may be made for part or all of the land in an access strip, and the resulting title may be issued for a share of ownership or full ownership. Due to this variability, the survey and CSD requirements will depend on the specifics of each situation and will be determined on a case by case basis. Advice should be sought from LINZ to confirm requirements for a CSD that is intended to support this type of application. 

Application for record of title based on adverse possession

Adverse possession is a principle of law whereby someone in continuous possession of another person’s land for an extended period of time is able to extinguish the title of the documentary owner and claim legal title to the land. The Land Transfer Act 2017 sets out the statutory requirements, restrictions and process for obtaining title by adverse possession, and CSD requirements are specified in the Cadastral Survey Rules 2021.

For information about adverse possession applications and CSD requirements, see:

CSDs with Adverse Possession

Application to update title for accretion and erosion

Where a title has a movable water boundary, the extent of land in the title can change due to accretion or erosion. A landowner may apply to have their title altered to reflect the changes to the boundaries and area of land recorded in the title.

For information about this type of application see:

Applications for Water Boundary Changes (Land that is Dried Stream Bed or was added by Accretion)

Application for title to dry bed

Dry land which was formerly river or stream bed may in certain circumstances be the subject of an application to bring land under the Land Transfer Act 2017. This typically arises where, due to avulsion or artificial works, a river or stream has abruptly changed course.

For information about this type of application see:

Applications for Water Boundary Changes (Land that is Dried Stream Bed or was added by Accretion)

Application for removal of interim status of title

A record of title may contain a memorial stating that the title is an “Interim” title. An Interim title is a record of title that was issued under the Land Transfer (Hawke’s Bay) Act 1931, and due to the loss of survey and title records following the Napier earthquake in 1931, the title is not conclusive as to the area or boundaries of the land shown on the title.

The interim status of a title is usually removed as part of another Land Transfer transaction such as a subdivision, however it is possible to apply for removal the interim status at any time. Where the sole purpose of a CSD is to remove the interim status from a title then an ‘Application’ survey purpose should be used. 

Other application types

If an application does not fall into the categories listed above, then advice should be sought from LINZ to confirm requirements.

CSD requirements

General requirements

Because application surveys are relatively rare, the Cadastral Survey Rules do not specifically address survey requirements for many application types. Despite this, the basic requirements for an Application CSD tend to be similar and reflect the information that the RGL considers necessary to ‘adequately define’ the land in terms of section 224 LTA 2017. 

Typically, the boundaries of the land subject to the application will need to be defined by survey and marked, and occupation information will usually need to be provided along those boundaries to provide evidence of possession.

Other evidence, such as historical photos and topographical features, may be relevant to the survey supporting an application for title. It is advisable for the surveyor preparing the CSD and solicitor submitting the claim to liaise and determine that all necessary survey-related evidence has been collected. 

Dataset purpose

  • The survey purpose will be ‘Application’ unless the claim is being made in conjunction with another Land Transfer (LT) purpose (e.g. Limited title, LT subdivision etc.) in which case either survey purpose can be used.
  • Caution is advised when combining an application with another Land Transfer action on the same CSD – if the application is unsuccessful then the CSD is unlikely to deposit and a new CSD may be required.
  • An application for title under the LTA 2017 must be made using a LT survey type. 

Dataset description

  • The dataset description on the CSD must include the appellation for the new primary parcels, the survey purpose, and the legal description of the land under survey (r 71(c)) (e.g. Lot 1 being a definition of part Section 47 SO 123).

Primary parcels and boundaries 

The land subject to the application (application land) may be depicted as a separate primary parcel or in conjunction with adjoining land that will be incorporated into the same title as the application land.

Where the application land is depicted as separate parcel, the CSD must:

  • Define the extent of the application land as a new primary parcel with a new appellation and an area (r 39, r 41-45)
  • Define all boundaries of the application land by survey (r 13 & r 35 and s 224(2) LTA 2017)
  • Mark all new and existing boundary points of the application land (r 35 and s 224(2) LTA 2017)
  • If the application land includes more than one underlying estate, clearly depict on the title diagram what part of the land comes from each estate. For each underlying estate the title diagram must show:
    • the estate boundaries (r 97(7))
    • the estate record reference (r 97(7))
    • the area of the land being claimed from that estate – this will be by annotation on the plan (r 41(3) and s 224(2) LTA 2017).
Lot 1 being Part Section 33 Blk IX
Figure 1: Lot 1 being Part Section 33 Blk IX

Where the application land is depicted in conjunction with adjoining land:

  • The above requirements apply to the application land except in relation to the disappearing common boundary with the adjoining land – that boundary must be depicted as an estate boundary rather than a primary parcel boundary
  • Estate record references need to be shown for all land in the new primary parcel
  • The title plan must make it clear what part of the land is subject to the application. This can usually be achieved by depiction of estate boundaries however additional annotations can be shown if necessary
  • The area(s) of the application land must be annotated on the plan
  • The boundaries of the adjoining land can be defined in accordance with normal rule requirements i.e. the boundaries are not required to be defined by survey or marked unless rules 13 and 35 require otherwise.
Lot 1 being Section 32 and Part Section 33 Blk IX
Figure 2: Lot 1 being Section 32 and Part Section 33 Blk IX

Residue parcels

  • If the application land only includes part of an existing primary parcel, then the unclaimed portion of the existing parcel must be captured as a ‘residue parcel’ (r 39).

Non-primary parcels

  • The CSD must include non-primary parcels for any new spatially defined interests and any existing spatially defined interests that are intended to carry forward onto the new title (r 97).
  • The CSD must include appropriate easement schedules and covenant information in accordance with rules 93-95.

For further information about non-primary parcels, see:

Non-primary parcels

Occupation

  • Occupation information is usually required to accompany an application so that, where appropriate, the possessory rights of the applicant and adjoining landowners can be assessed. A CSD prepared to support an application must include occupation information in graphic form at every boundary point and along every boundary of the application land (r 81 and s 224(2) LTA 2017). 
  • If the period of possession is a critical element of the application, then care needs be taken by the surveyor to ensure that the age of occupation shown in the CSD is sufficiently accurate and reliable. An estimate based on physical appearance may not be adequate on its own and further evidence and enquiry by the surveyor may be necessary.
  • The evidence and information used to determine the age of occupation should be recorded in the survey report.

Existing Interests

  • Depending on the type of application, there may or may not be a requirement for existing interests to carry forward on to the new title. 
  • Where existing spatial interests are being carried forward, the CSD will need to account for those interests and include the appropriate easement schedule and covenant annotations (r 94-95).
  • Where existing spatial interests are not being carried forward, then this should be confirmed in the survey report and title plan (r 92(h)). 

Survey report

  • Reporting on the survey purpose (r 72(a)) should include detail about the type of application the CSD is supporting and the legislation under which the application is being made. This information is important so that LINZ staff can correctly assess compliance and so that other users of the dataset can understand the purpose of the survey.
  • Rule 72(i) requires reporting in regard to each existing boundary defined by survey. Where the extent of the application land is defined by a new boundary, a similar level of reporting should be provided in relation to the new boundary so that the rationale for the boundary position is understood and entitlement to the application land can be assessed.
  • The report should reference any land status reports and any prior correspondence with LINZ or other parties on issues relevant to the CSD. If necessary, correspondence and reports should be included in the CSD as supporting documents (r 72(p)).

Example CSDs

DP 508552 (PDF 162KB) – This CSD supports an application under section 20 Land Transfer Act 1952 (now section 172 LTA 2017) to bring Deeds land under the Land Transfer Act. The application is registered under instrument 10481037.1 (PDF 5MB) The application land had previously been defined on a SO plan that wasn’t suitable for deposit. After consultation with LINZ, DP 508552 was prepared as a Parcels without Survey Information CSD due to the boundaries having been defined and marked on SO 465583 and the intended transfer of the land to the adjoining owner.

DP 527754 (PDF 1MB) – This CSD supports an application for adverse possession over Deeds land under section 20 Land Transfer Act 1952 (equivalent to an application under section 172 LTA 2017). The subject land was depicted as road on DEED 55 and DP 1187 but the road never became legal. The application is registered under instrument 11134110.1 (PDF 11MB)

DP 529008 (PDF 2MB) – This CSD defines land subject to an application for adverse possession over Land Transfer land under section 3 Land Transfer Amendment Act 1963 (equivalent to an application under section 155 LTA 2017). The application land is defined together with other land and the surveyor has displayed the information relating to the application land on a plan graphic, however this information could have been displayed on the title sheets of the CSD if preferred. The application is registered under instrument 11422047.1 (PDF 3MB)

Last Updated: 7 May 2021
Authority: Surveyor-General and LINZ Chief Executive – sections 7(1)(ga) and 9 Cadastral Survey Act 2002