Our official collection of survey plans and records is the legal foundation providing confidence to the many land transactions occurring in New Zealand every day. Survey plans define the legal boundaries of a property. They tell you where one property ends and another begins. The collected records of a country’s land boundaries are called the ‘cadastre’. These records include official plans of survey, information about boundary marks and survey measurements, together with supporting reports by the surveyors and other information.
Our role is to ensure the accuracy of the cadastre. New Zealanders enjoy many benefits from the certainty this provides, like speedier consent processes allowing landowners to work on or improve their properties, or the use of land as security for bank loans.
For us, the starting point is providing a secure reliable system through which land professionals can search, lodge and update survey plans, electronically. That system is Landonline, and using Landonline’s e-search and e-survey functions, surveyors, can prepare and lodge surveys– or cadastral survey datasets (CSDs) – all from their own offices. Once we’re satisfied the lodged plan meets the legal requirements, we ‘deposit’ it and produce a certificate of title (or computer register). The plan is then an official record within the cadastre.
Only licensed cadastral surveyors can carry out cadastral surveys and we closely manage survey standards to ensure the accuracy of our land records. The Surveyor-General, here at LINZ, sets the rules, standards and guidelines that professional surveyors must follow. We also audit the work of surveyors. Our monitoring and auditing helps ensure the ongoing integrity of New Zealand’s property rights system.