LINZ has launched a pilot project to look at the identification and management of boundary conflicts arising from interim surveys carried out after the Canterbury earthquakes.

In response to the land movement resulting from the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, the Canterbury Property Boundaries and Related Matters Act 2016 (the Act) was passed, after consultation with the surveyor community, the NZ Law Society and others, to provide certainty for the vast majority of Cantabrians whose property boundaries were affected by the earthquakes. The Act achieved this certainty by redefining boundaries in greater Christchurch as having moved with the land movement caused by the earthquakes.

Not all surveys that were approved in the period from 4 September 2010 to the commencement of the Act on 30 August 2016 (interim surveys) were carried out on the basis that boundaries moved with the earthquake movement. This means some interim surveys determined property boundaries to be in different locations than where the earthquakes moved them to.

For a small number of surveys, LINZ acknowledges that the Act leaves on-going uncertainty for surveyors and landowners about potential boundary conflicts. To address this, LINZ has launched a pilot project to look at the identification and management of boundary conflicts.

This work includes quantifying the number of interim surveys that have a potential for boundary conflict and developing an operational response for managing the boundary conflicts that are identified.  

The pilot programme will not be reviewing the validity of the interim surveys. Under the Act, an interim survey continues to determine the boundaries of land surveyed within Greater Christchurch as long as it was approved by LINZ and done in good faith and without negligence. The pilot will be limited to determining whether a boundary conflict may result from the interim survey.

The LINZ project team is focused on identifying the scale of boundary conflicts in greater Christchurch and will provide updates on their progress as soon as any comprehensive information becomes available.

Alongside the pilot, LINZ will continue to use its Expert Advisory Committee (EAC) to work collaboratively with surveyors who discover a boundary conflict that may impact on the approval or deposit of a new survey they are carrying out. The EAC is made up of LINZ experts, who can consider the survey and title aspects of the boundary conflict and, if necessary, put forward options to resolve it.

It is important that surveyors contact LINZ Operations as early as possible by submitting an Earthquake Complex e-request when they discover a boundary conflict that affects a new survey. LINZ, through the EAC, can then work with the surveyor to address the conflict and progress the new survey.

Last Updated: 12 February 2018