Questions and Answers

Survey Advice

Where can I go for surveying advice?

A list of Survey and Spatial (S+SNZ) members and Consulting firms is available under the Contact tab at

Survey and Spatial New Zealand is not qualified to provide legal advice on surveying and does not have in-house surveyors who can advise of technical and legal survey matters.

Survey Marks

What can I do if I think my boundary survey marks have been moved or interfered with?

Section 55 of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002 deals with the interference of survey marks (see below).

This section states that if the survey mark was for the purposes of a cadastral survey, then it is an offence to knowingly or recklessly alter its position. In addition, it is an offence if the person responsible for altering the position of the survey mark has failed to notify the alteration to the Surveyor-General at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).

To establish that an offence has occurred, any person can take a prosecution under Section 55 of the act. LINZ says that the legislation does not anticipate that it must be a public organisation and a private prosecution can be initiated by filing a “charging document”, with the relevant District Court, under section 14 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011. 

This may be done with or without legal representation. However, it should be noted that this can be an expensive process and the ‘burden of proof’ is very high that a mark was in place and then removed “knowingly or recklessly” by a particular person. It is because of this high burden of proof that LINZ does not actively pursue prosecutions on behalf of a member of the public.

Link to the Cadastral Survey Act 2002.

How long do survey records have to be kept for?

Under Section 14 of the Rules for Cadastral Survey field records to be kept for seven years from certification and must be made available to the Surveyor-General of Chief Executive on Request.

Licensed Cadastral Surveyors

Are Cadastral (land title) Surveyors required to be registered in NZ?

Cadastral surveyors do not have to be registered in NZ. However, to lodge a cadastral survey into the NZ land title and survey system, a surveyor is required to be a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor (LCS).  Licenses are issued by the Cadastral Survey Licensing Board (CSLB),

How do I become a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor in New Zealand?

To gain a licence to undertake cadastral surveys in New Zealand (pursuant to Sections 22 and 23 of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002) you must satisfy the CSLB requirements.

Survey and Spatial NZ Admissions Panel manages the qualification process to obtain a Licence to Undertake Cadastral Surveys on behalf of the CSLB.  Further information on the examinations is available on our Professional Entrance Exam page.

Working in New Zealand

Can I work in NZ?

Immigration NZ has information for working in New Zealand, and the various visa options, and provides a list of skill shortages.

If you are going through the immigration process ( you may get a request to provide ‘Evidence of [your] overseas degree approved by NZIS (now called S+SNZ)’ and/or proof of a membership/professional association with us.

We accept overseas membership applications if all the required criteria are met and will provide evidence of membership if the membership is granted and evidence required. More information is available at

Technical Qualification Assessments and Membership

S+SNZ accepts technical qualification equivalency assessments made by the Australian & NZ Bureau for Assessment of Overseas Qualifications (BOAQ) as part of the process in assessing membership applications and will provide successful applicants with a letter if this is required. A paper setting out the BOAQ background can be found here.

The CSLB can advise on the process and payment fee for BOAQ assessments:

The Secretary
Cadastral Survey Licensing Board
P O Box 12 241
Wellington 6144


What do I need to do to become an Associate or an Overseas Member with an overseas degree approved by S+SNZ?

Requirements for membership are set out in the Membership Policy under the Governance tab.

To apply to become an Associate (or Voting member) of S+SNZ, applicants need to complete the online application form: and attach a copy of their CV and any survey/spatial qualifications or qualification equivalency (see above for more details on obtaining a BOAQ qualification equivalency assessment).

If the applicants are living overseas, an ‘Overseas’ membership may be suitable. To become an Overseas member, the applicant must be qualified and/or working as a surveying or spatial professional in the industry. 

Each application is assessed on a case by case basis. S+SNZ will request a copy of the CV and qualification equivalency to assess their application if one is not attached to the online form mentioned above. (Note that we only process overseas applications once the administration fee of NZ$200 is paid - this is non-refundable if the application is unsuccessful). 

If the application is successful, we will grant an ‘Overseas’ membership and if required, a letter confirming the membership.

If I complete a NZ Diploma in Surveying, can I apply to become an Associate Member?

Yes, you can apply for an Associate membership - see above.


I’m not happy about the cost of the services provided or fees being charged - how can I make a complaint?

S+SNZ is unable to get involved in fee disputes. More information is available here:

I’m not happy with the service I have received from a surveyor - how can I make a complaint?

S+SNZ has a charter and a Code of Conduct that members must follow in maintaining certain standards of professional behaviour. If the work carried out by a surveyor does not meet your expectations, the first step should be to contact the surveyor and discuss your situation to try to clear up any misunderstandings or apparent shortcomings. Other options are available depending on the nature of your complaint.

Written complaints relating to unprofessional conduct and ethics of S+SNZ members should be addressed to Survey and Spatial New Zealand National Office. The complaint should be accompanied by any relevant supporting documents. Forward to:

Survey and Spatial NZ
PO Box 5304
Lambton Quay
Wellington 6145.

Can a surveyor just come onto my property without permission?

Unless mutually agreed, entry onto private property by surveyors is governed by the legislation. In accordance with Section 53 of Cadastral Survey Act 2002 a surveyor should only enter land for cadastral survey purposes.

The law does not require the landowner to be notified but rather the occupier of the land to be given, if practicable, reasonable notice of the intention to exercise powers granted under section 53. The surveyor must produce evidence of his or her identity and authority to exercise those powers on first entering the land and whenever subsequently requested. The powers of entry onto land do not extend to entry of any dwelling house or other building which can only be authorised by a warrant given by a District Court Judge. For more information see the LINZ webpage: Authority to enter land

Can I stop a surveyor from coming onto my property?

The law under section 54 of the Cadastral Survey Act 2002, states that it is an offence to knowingly obstruct or hinder a cadastral surveyor or a person assisting a cadastral surveyor in:

(a) performing the cadastral surveyor’s duties and functions in relation to a cadastral survey, or

(b) ascertaining or marking out a boundary or cadastral survey line, or

(c) fixing, placing, restoring, repairing, or setting up a cadastral survey mark.

The penalty on conviction is a fine not exceeding $1,000.

If the person is not a cadastral surveyor or a person assisting a cadastral surveyor, then you need to seek advice on your rights and how to exercise them in order to stop a person entering property that you own or rent. Free advice can be sought from your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau,

Send Us Your Question 

Use the Contact Form to send us your question.