Frequently asked Survey Questions from Survey Gisborne

Subdividing and Landuse Consents   

Q. I have land that I want to subdivide. What is involved and what would it cost?   Copperfields Development, Gisborne.

A. The process of subdividing land involves various stages.  Firstly it will be necessary to apply for and obtain resource consent (subdivision).  The final stage will involve the surveying component with the placement of boundary pegs and the preparation of a digital dataset.  This digital dataset is then lodged with Land Information NZ for processing and “approval as to survey”.

The professional team at Survey Gisborne Limited are happy to discuss your proposal and provide advice.   We are also happy to provide a written survey estimate of our fees for the various stages and provide other associated costs that need to be met.  


Town Houses, Ballance Street, Gisborne.Q. I want to subdivide my section to make room for another dwelling, unit or granny flat. How do I go about this?

A.Firstly it is advisable to contact our team of professionals at Survey Gisborne Limited.  We can advise whether the proposed new sections will comply with the District Plan and any other relevant statutory requirements.  We can also provide further professional advice to assist you with this venture.

Know your legal boundary and ground levels before you build.

Q. I want to put up a fence between my neighbour’s property and my property, but am not sure exactly where my boundary is? Rural Lifestyle Subdivision, Valley Road, Gisborne.

A.  We can assist by visiting your property to locate any existing boundary pegs and confirm that they are still in their correct position.  If no old boundary pegs can be located, or if they have been tampered with, the existing boundary positions can be restablished with new survey pegs.

 Alternatively, we can fix existing topographic features (ie. corner of dwelling) in the close vicinity of the boundary and provide a sketch plan showing the relationship of these topographic features to the true legal boundary.

It is important to know exactly where your legal boundary is in order not to encroach onto your neighbour’s property and to avoid any potential disputes in the future.

Q. How much would it cost to have my boundary redefined?

A. The professional survey costs related to redefining your boundary can vary from survey to survey, however the cost can be shared in agreement with your neighbour.

Building platform surveyed before building new home in Gisborne. Q. I want to build a house and my architect needs ground levels over our property.

A.  Our professional team of surveyors can undertake a topographical survey of your property.  We can provide for your architect digital data and plans showing the required ground levels, as well as establishing a bench mark within your property.  Bench marks are required to assist your builder to establish an accurate and precise floor level (or building platform).

In addition, our professional team of surveyors can set out accurately positioned profile lines on site for any new building that has been designed. 


Legal Access to / through an Adjoining Property.

Q. I have used the neighbour's gate to get to the back paddock for years and now the new neighbours have locked it. What options, or rights,  do I haveOverlooking view of Kohanga River, Gisborne. to gain legal access?

A. Firstly check to see if there is already a legal "right of way" easement for access through the neighbour's property. A legal "right of way" easement will be registered and shown on the affected Computer Freehold Register (previously known as a Certificate of Title). In some cases these "right of way" easement are shown on survey plans. 

 If no legal "right of way" easement is registered and you wish to obtain one, negotiations and discussions will be required with your neighbours.

Contact our staff at Survey Gisborne Limited, or your solicitor, to confirm if a legal “right of way” easement has been surveyed and registered.  Your solicitor will be able to provide legal advice in this area.  Should a new “right of way” easement be required, our professional team of surveyors can prepare a survey plan accordingly.  For this type of easement approval and consent will be required from the local authority.

Legal Right of Way to Property are created by "Easements"


Note: There are different types of easements which allow for a wide range of services to be conveyed over land.

These include the rights to convey electricity, telecommunication and computer media, gas, water as well as the right to drain sewage and stormwater. 


Service Easements

Q. I am developing my property and need to provide services (ie. electricity cables, water, telephone etc) through an adjoining property.  How do I go about it?

A. Firstly you need to obtain agreement, preferably in writing with the landowner of the affected property, in cooperation with your solicitor.  Once this has been obtained you can instruct our professional team of surveyors to prepare a survey plan of the required easement which can be used by the solicitor to register and record that easement on the appropriate Computer Freehold Registers.

 Land Covenants

Q. What is a land covenant?

A. A land covenant is a provision registered on the Certificate of Title to a piece of land which limits or restricts the owner and future owners in respect of the use of that piece of land.  

A covenant is a promise which creates a legal obligation by someone to do, or not to do something in respect of that land. This promise is tied to the ownership of the land.

The document creating a land covenant details the restrictions, and also describes the affected land. The land covenant document, usually prepared by a lawyer or other suitably qualified professional, is registered against the title to both the land benefiting from the land covenant (the dominant land), and also the land that bears the burden of the land covenant (the servient land).

Restriction on the use of land is achieved by registering land covenants against the title to the affected land.

Once the land covenant is registered, any purchasers buying land can search a copy of that document and review the covenants affecting that property.


Covenants for Environmentally Significant Land

Q. I have a special area of environmentally significant land (ie. native bush, wetland or coastline) that I would like to Waitere Station, Tutiria.  Kevin Taylor & Daniel Reardon.permanently protect for future generations. What should I do? 

A. There are various options you can take here.  One method is by establishing an “open space” covenant with the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust. 

Your first step is to contact a local Regional Representative of the National Trust and discuss your proposal with them.  If your proposal is approved by the National Trusts Board of Directors, then the National Trust will discuss any new fencing requirements with you and a survey will be arranged to officially define the area.  These steps need to happen before the covenant can be registered on the title to your land.

In most cases (exemptions include Resource Management Act conditions for subdivisions) the survey costs and a portion of any new fencing costs are met by the National Trust.  It is important that you first approach the National Trust to discuss your options.

Our professional team of surveyors regularly works with the National Trust to prepare survey plans for open space covenants. 

Many local authorities assess "open space" covenants as being non rateable which is an added incentive to protect environmental significant areas. 


Other types of Covenants/Reserves for Environmental Significant Land

Q.  Are there other methods to establish a land covenant/reserve?

A.  Other agencies such as the Council, Department of Conservation and the Hertiage Trust can also assist you with advice on establishing land covenants and/or reserves.  

Again our professional team of surveyors can assist in preparing a survey plan that will be used for any proposals and registration requirements.


Riverbed Boundaries - Accretion or Erosion

Q. The boundaries of my property follow the bank of a river which has changed significantly.  As a result, I have gained more land.  Is the extra land legally ours?

Mohaka River, Hawkes Bay. A. Properties that abut onto the banks of rivers, have what is known as a natural boundary.  Natural boundaries change over the years, either gradually or suddenly (ie. storm action).  Depending on where your legal boundary now lies, you may either have an “accretion” or an “erosion” situation.  This is a complex issue.  It is advisable that you visit Survey Gisborne Limited and talk to one of our professional team of surveyors who will be able to discuss the options and provide advice.



Q. How do you know if a survey mark is in its correct position and whether it has been disturbed or not?Disburbed Survey Mark

A. Using conventional survey methods, a surveyor will need to locate further old survey marks nearby to prove the reliability of that survey mark.  It is surprising the number of legal survey pegs that have been proved to be out of position.  In some cases legal survey pegs have moved due to natural causes, but a high percentage is due to contractors and landowners tampering with them.

Q. Does every survey mark have a coordinate?

A. This is a difficult question to answer.  Generally all survey marks can be coordinated and be related to a nominated origin point or coordinate system.  Sometimes time consuming computations in the office will be required to achieve this.  The accuracy of the coordinated survey mark will be dependent on the age of the survey that placed that survey mark.

Q. What is a survey datum?

A. This is a survey projection system that surveyors use to base their surveys on.  At present there are at least 24 circuits in New Zealand, known as the Geodetic Datum 2000, however there are numerous other types.  For example the grid references shown on the new Topo50 maps are based on the New Zealand Transverse Mercator projection. 


We will professionally work with you through each step
to maximise the value and sustainability of your property and investment.