The Canterbury Property Boundaries and Related Matters Act 2016 (the Act) came into force on 30 August 2016.

Property boundaries are deemed to have moved or to move with the movement of land caused by the Canterbury earthquakes (unless the movement was a landslip).

The Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010 specify the Surveyor-General’s standards for how the spatial extent (including boundaries) of interests must be defined and described.  These rules were amended by the Cadastral Survey Amendment Rules 2017 with the addition of rule 20, effective from 24 April 2017.  Rule 20 includes all the specific requirements that apply to the conduct of cadastral surveys and cadastral survey datasets located in greater Christchurch.  The ‘boundaries moved’ principle set out in the Act and Rule 20 do not apply to cadastral surveys outside greater Christchurch.

More information about the new rules

Rule 20.1 - Terms and definitions

Defines terms used in rule 20. New terms include affected boundary and earthquake movement. Two terms in the principal rules (disturbed and reinstated) have been modified for the purposes of Rule 20. 

Rule 20.2 - Certain rules do not apply to greater Christchurch

Provides that rule 18 (Boundaries affected by ground movement) does not apply to a cadastral survey in greater Christchurch. To comply with the Act, surveyors must consider the sum of all earthquake-induced land movement when locating boundaries, not just deep-seated movement.

Rule 20.3 - Defining by survey or acceptance of affected boundary

Requires existing affected boundaries to be redefined when urban and small rural parcels are being created. This is to provide certainty about boundary location to landowners where their land use is likely to be intensive or where they are likely to need accurately defined boundaries.  There are exceptions for balance parcels, residue parcels and some water boundaries.

Rule 20.4 - Defining and referencing affected boundaries

Requires redefined affected boundaries to be referenced by witness marks and PRMs and the survey connected to an official datum.  This ensures surveyors will be able to accurately relocate the redefined boundaries in the future.  The reduced referencing requirements in the current rules that apply to Monumentation CSDs and some boundary reinstatement surveys cannot be used.

Rule 20.5 - Occupation and physical features in diagram

Ensures important information about occupation and physical features used as evidence to locate an affected boundary is recorded in a diagram.

Rule 20.6 - Defining non-primary parcel boundaries and underlying boundaries

Requires the redefinition of underlying parcel boundaries where they are coincident with or intersected by new non-primary parcel boundaries.  The rule also sets out additional requirements for new unit title or cross lease developments.  This provides certainty about the relationship between new boundaries and underlying parcel boundaries where there is intensive land use and occupation.  There are also provisions for recording redefined underlying boundaries

Rule 20.7 - Boundaries to be marked

Provides that, when an affected boundary of a primary parcel is redefined, the boundary must be marked on the ground so that landowners can readily identify its location.

Rule 20.8 - Removing boundary marks

Allows, where there is no boundary conflict,  a surveyor to remove, or drive below ground, an old boundary mark that no longer marks a boundary.  This ensures that landowners are not misled about the correct location of a boundary.  The rule also specifies information the surveyor must include in their cadastral survey dataset if a boundary mark is removed (refer to ‘Rule 20.8 Removing boundary marks’ for more information).  

Rule 20.9 - Water body centreline boundaries

Enables an existing irregular boundary that follows the centreline of a water body to be retained. The rule also enables a centreline boundary to be accepted in some situations.

Rule 20.10 - Reduced level for unaffected stratum boundaries

Provides for correction of the pre-quake level of a stratum boundary as recorded in the cadastre.

Access Surveyor-General's Guidelines online

You can access the Surveyor-General's Guidelines on Rule 20 in the knowledgebase

Last Updated: 16 October 2017