The Surveyor-General is developing a standard that can be used to define the location of utility assets.

The Surveyor-General has developed a draft Utility Location Standard to help provide a new framework for recording the location of utility assets.  It is intended to provide positions that are sufficiently accurate for future needs – it is no longer acceptable to have the locations of expensive assets inaccurately defined.

The Standard is intended to be used by contractors, surveyors and engineers who undertake the actual survey and measurement of the assets (producing ‘as-builts’). It will enable a utility organisation or asset manager to specify that this standard must be used when recording the location of new or maintained assets (in contracts for example).

The Standard requires positions to be defined in three dimensions, using the NZ Vertical Datum 2016 (NZVD2016).  It defines the position of a utility in terms of the geodetic control network, instead of in terms of property boundaries. This is the same network used to define the position of property boundaries.  Virtually all modern spatial data, including aerial imagery, uses this framework – which ensures it can be accurately integrated and spatially overlaid.

Use of the Standard will not be mandatory.

We are seeking feedback on this draft Utility Location Standard from territorial authorities, professional bodies, interested organisations and individuals.

We intend to hold an online forum to discuss the draft Standard on Wednesday 27 January 2021. We will provide more details about this closer to the time.

You can provide written feedback by emailing

Feedback is due by 24 February 2021.

Draft Utility Location Standard (PDF 378KB)

Enquiries and submissions:


Last Updated: 4 December 2020