NZIS PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – 25 JUNE 2015
We’re approaching the middle of the year with winter fully upon us. It’s good to remind ourselves of the impacts winter can have and to ensure that we all take personal responsibility with respect to the Health and Safety of our colleagues, our families and ourselves. I implore us all to take five minutes to consider how we can Mitigate, Isolate or Minimise the risks of this season.
Significant activities continue for the NZIS at many levels; National Office is recruiting following recent retirements, the Board met in mid-June, the FIG Working Week in Bulgaria was attended by key NZIS people involved in the Christchurch Working Week, the annual budget and strategic plan have been under final review, we are planning for this year’s conference in Wellington and for the Working Week in Christchurch, May 2016 whilst the work continues on the Canterbury boundary shallow issue.
Canterbury Earthquake Affected Cadastre
I’d like to comment on the NZIS involvement in leading the solution development for the issues that have resulted from seismic activity in Canterbury.
From the early beginnings where issues were first raised by the Canterbury Branch in 2014, we’ve maintained a watching brief as Canterbury Branch progressed the issues directly with LINZ. We offered our support throughout early days and met with LINZ at the strategic level. It was indicated that an answer was being constructed in partnership with Canterbury Branch. In January 2015 we were advised that the issue had gone beyond the local LINZ office and NZIS branch.
We became involved in high level discussions with LINZ resulting in the announcement by the Surveyor-General. From that point on high level interactions have taken place between Canterbury Branch and LINZ, in particular the Surveyor-General, resulting in the development of a NZIS Canterbury Working Party.
The S-G Guideline variation and précis of the problem was circulated around the entire NZIS membership in March this year and large numbers of the membership fed back into LINZ and the Working Party. After high level discussions with LINZ, the guidelines were withdrawn.
The Canterbury Working Party was maintained for consultation and NZIS was invited to be part of the newly formed Sector Leaders Group to be made up of representatives from NZIS, LINZ, CERA, EQC, NZ Law Society, NZ Insurance Council, Christchurch City Council and Government. Mark Allan representing Canterbury and myself, NZIS President sit on that group advocating for surveyors.
Meetings with the Canterbury Working Party have occurred regularly and the group have been a valuable resource that has appropriately responded to issues raised by the Sector Leaders Group and the LINZ project team working on a set of solutions.
Due to the significance of the issues identified, the impacts these issues can have and the complexity of the solutions needed for the future, it has taken some time to test options and develop robust propositions. The work surrounding this has progressed and not surprisingly it appears that legislative processes will be required and the options will have to be presented for ministerial consideration - this all takes time!
I’m sure Mark would support my position that members can be confident in the advocacy of its representatives at both Sector Leaders level and through the Working Party. Whilst the solution detail cannot be disclosed until it is worked through and has general support from all the represented parties, there is good progress in a direction.
Relationships with LINZ, the S-G and the Minister of Lands
Over the year there are a number of opportunities for interaction with LINZ through senior staff, the Surveyor-General, Peter Mersi (LINZ CEO) and with the Minister. This is an area of strategic importance for the NZIS and we actively seek engagement on many specific issues.
The Advanced Survey and Titles Service (ASaTS) Business Case and the Landonline processing times are core topics for meetings. The NZIS was significantly disappointed that the ASaTS business case was deferred in this year’s budget; we understand that this is a temporary delay and we continue to make this a priority for all of our discussions with LINZ.
LINZ processing times are of concern to the NZIS as this reflects poorly on the profession and has a negative impact on the efficiency of the NZ tenure system and subsequently the economy. LINZ acknowledge the issue and are talking with the NZIS about efforts being worked on, but there are no easy solutions. Members should be talking with clients regarding this and advising of the delay so that clients can understand early in a development the impact this will have on gaining titles.
Finally the NZIS believes that consideration should be made on a Cadastral Rules Review. We believe that there are opportunities to improve the surveying process but know that a review takes time so LINZ should get on with it.
As we move towards the annual conference, branches are scheduling AGM’s so that delegates come with their group’s view. I’d encourage all members to get to these meetings and be involved. I’ll be trying to get to these where possible with Hadyn and other members of the Board attending where practical to answer questions you may have.
On a final note I am pleased to celebrate the sign off of the NZIS 2015-2020 Strategic Plan . As a roadmap for NZIS this document will guide the actions of Council, the Board and National Office. I would encourage all members to read it through and get to grips with the strong core objectives of the NZIS as New Zealand’s peak professional surveying and spatial body. This document reflects where we want to go and identifies where you can get involved.
Jeff Needham, NZIS President.