Surveyors use field books to record measurements made 'on the job'. Field books show the bearings and distances between each survey mark involved in a survey.

Field books can date back more than 160 years. Older books may show place names and physical features (eg pa sites, hills, houses, etc). They are typically bound volumes.

LINZ holds all field books, as part of the cadastral survey database. North Island cadastral Field books up to 1972 and some South Island field books have been digitised and are viewable online.

You can order copies of particular pages from a field book. You will need the field book reference (found on survey plans, and in old plan and field registers) and the page numbers. In some cases, knowing the surveyor's name can help you find the field book reference.

Order material from a Field book


Example of a digitised fieldbook, showing a survey of south boundary of Whataupoko

Digital archive of field books

Land Information New Zealand has now made available digitised versions of a large part of our field book collection. The digitisation programme includes books for the North Island for the period up to 1972 and some South Island books.

Visit the field book archive.

A typical book cover as well as a watercolour illustration found within the fieldbooks digital archive
Last Updated: 22 June 2021