Licensing Process Part 1: Why Get Licensed?

I’m working toward becoming licensed as a cadastral surveyor in New Zealand. A lot of people have been asking me lately about what’s involved with becoming licensed, so I thought it would be worth posting something on here about what I’m facing up to.

First up, what actually is a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor? What do they do and what makes getting licensed so special? In a nutshell, cadastral surveying is the field of surveying that is involved with the legal side of defining land boundaries spatially, and is particularly involved with the subdivision process of generating new certificates of title.

The most basic and clear cut role of the licensed surveyor is that they sign survey plans. Only a licensed surveyor can sign plans and lodge them with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for approval. In reality, licensed surveyors often wind up with more project management roles. This is because the process of getting licensed means they learn a lot about all facets of land development, from dealing with Council to obtain consents, overseeing the engineering requirements and ultimately producing and submitting the necessary plans.

The process of getting licensed is long and requires a lot of hard work. The first criteria is to complete a Bachelors degree in surveying, which currently can only be completed through Otago University. Provided you’ve got that, getting licensed involves minimum time and experience requirements, submitting projects and passing exams. I’ll take a closer look at these criteria in a few upcoming posts.

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