GUEST BLOG: Changing Boundaries by Grant Shand
The Canterbury Earthquake sequence resulted in mass movement of land which has impacted the reliability of property boundaries. Legislation was required to ensure earthquake affected boundary lines were redefined by survey as:
- The documented record of distances and bearings between boundary marks cannot be relied on due to land movement;
- There remains a lack of permanent survey marks accurately reflecting boundary positions; and
- Physical evidence of earthquake movement will otherwise be lost.
On 30th August 2016 The Canterbury Property Boundaries and Related Matters Act 2016 came into force. The act clarifies:
- that property boundaries are deemed to have ‘moved or to move with the movement of land caused by the Canterbury earthquakes (unless the movement was a landslip)’. This is the “boundaries moved” principle; and
- movement will not create new overlaps or gaps that reduce certainty in the boundaries of interests in land; and
- boundary movement does not affect the validity of title for land registered under the Land Transfer Act 1952.
New rules for cadastral surveying (practice of establishing property boundaries) are required to support this legislation. They will amend the current Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010.
The Surveyor General invites feedback on the Proposed Rules for Cadastral Surveys for Greater Christchurch. Submissions on the rules close 12 October 2016 with an aim to have the new rules affected in early 2017.
The new rules will ensure all boundaries within the greater Christchurch Area are defined in terms of the “boundaries moved principle”. Surveyors must consider the sum of earthquake induced land movement when locating a boundary..
Grand Shand Barristers and Solicitors