December 13, 2017


What is surveying? Why do I need a surveyor?

  • A surveyor is a professional person with the academic qualifications and technical expertise to determine, measure, and represent land; to assemble and interpret land and geographically related information; to use that information for the planning and administration of the land, the sea, and any structures thereon. Surveyors are more commonly used to establish maps and boundaries for property ownership.
  • Surveying is much more than just measuring points, and it essentially covers all aspects of land development including engineering and planning. One likely reason you may need a surveyor’s expertise is to undertake a subdivision, but there are many more reasons you may need a surveyor. Click here for a full list of our services.

What is a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor?

  • A surveyor that is registered as a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor under the Cadastral Survey Act 2002 is the only person authorised to perform cadastral (property boundary) surveys in New Zealand.

I want to subdivide where do I start?

  • The first step is to get in touch with a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor – it’s as easy as contacting us. Provide us with some basic details about your property and we can then undertake a thorough background research on your property, check with local town planning rules, and provide you with the best advice and help to step you through the process. We offer a free initial consultation – click here to contact us.

Can I subdivide? What is a fee simple subdivision? How much does it cost? How long does it take?

  • A fee simple subdivision is dependent on the size of your property, any site constraints, the zone specified in the district plan, and relevant town planning rules. Contact us with your property details and we can let you know what your best options are.
  • A fee simple subdivision is the process of dividing one parcel of land into two or more separate land parcels. This enables new Certificates of Title to be created which can be sold in separate ownership. A fee simple subdivision is the most common form of subdivision, but we also undertake Unit Title subdivisions, Cross Lease updates, and Rural subdivisions.
  • The cost to complete a subdivision is unique to each job and dependent on several factors such as size, location, and council requirements. Contact us and we can give you a detailed fee proposal once we know a little more about your site.
  • The subdivision timeframe is also unique to every job and largely dependent on any conditions council impose on the subdivision, such as servicing requirements. A typical 2-lot subdivision will take approximately 6 months from concept to completion.

What is a resource consent? Do I need one?

  • A resource consent is the formal Council approval needed when a land activity or building does not meet the rules in the district plan, or when the district plan states that resource consent is required.
  • Resource consent is always required to undertake a subdivision. But other activities such as discharging stormwater, rural sewage systems, and earthworks activities also often need land use consent.
  • We can advise you exactly what consents will be required for your proposed development or activity. Contact us.

What is a Cross Lease title? Can I update my Cross-Lease title? Can I convert my Cross-Lease Title to a Freehold ‘fee simple Title?

  • A cross lease title is where you own an equal share of the underlying freehold land and then have a lease agreement to occupy a building. Exclusive use covenants are provided for private use areas.
  • There are several issues with Cross-Lease ownership including the requirement for your neighbour’s permission to build a deck or extension and the (costly) need to update the flats plan each time a change is made to a structure.
  • We strongly recommend undertaking a Cross Lease to Fee Simple conversion of your land to have a stronger form of property ownership. We are happy to have a chat with you about the benefits of this and the legal issues surrounding Cross Lease properties.
  • However, we can update or rectify your Cross-Lease title. This may be required due to a building extension, rebuild, or if you are selling your property.

What is a Unit Title Subdivision?

  • A unit title subdivision is a common type of subdivision for multi-storied ownership such as an apartment complex. Unit Titles can also be used for individual houses, joined houses, or commercial buildings. A body corporate must be formed to manage the common facilities.

What is a Topographical Survey?

  • A topographical survey is carried out to produce levels and contours of your property in order to create a 3d map. This map includes the location of any other important features such as trees, services, spot heights, legal boundaries, and buildings. This plan provides the foundation for all further design & development and is crucial for civil engineering & architectural design.

What is a Building Location Certificate? What is a Building Set Out?

  • A building location certificate is often requested by council to confirm that your building has been built in the correct location relative to your legal property boundaries and must be certified by a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor.
  • We often get involved early to help the builder set the building out in the correct location before the foundation is poured in order to avoid potentially costly issues down the track.

I need to know where my boundary is, how can I tell?

  • There are many reasons why you may need to know the location of your boundary. This maybe to settle a dispute between your neighbour, to determine if the current fence is on the boundary, or where a new fence should be placed. The only way to be certain where your boundary is would be to contact us and engage a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor to define your property boundaries.

What are Development Contributions?

  • Any new development places a demand on the council’s resources and services. As a result, when any new development such as a subdivision occurs, council requires a contribution to be paid to contribute towards the extra demands on council’s resources and network. We can provide you with an estimate of your development contributions and they will be formally assessed during the resource consent stage.

What is a Geotechnical Assessment?

  • A geotechnical assessment is often required by council when subdividing or developing land to determine if the land is suitable for development. In Christchurch, a geotechnical report is compulsory for almost all subdivisions. We work with several reputable geotechnical engineers and can organise to get quotes for this on your behalf.

Who are LINZ? What do they do?

  • Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) are the government department responsible for land records in New Zealand. They are critical for any subdivision because the approve both the survey plans and legal documents before titles can be issued.

My title is “limited as to Parcels” what does this mean?

  • The Crown does not guarantee the area or boundary dimensions of your land parcel. If you are undertaking any development or need to know the location of your boundaries, then you will require a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor to undertake a survey to uplift these limitations. We have the expertise and experience to complete this for you.