NZIS Volunteering Toolkit Workshop

  • 310 Castle St, Dunedin
  • 08 September 2018

Why should you attend?

You've always wanted to volunteer your skills as a surveyor or spatial professional but haven't found the opportunity or are not sure you have what it takes. Or you may have some nagging questions. You should come to get those questions answered and to get connected to the volunteering/aid work opportunities. This event will help you realise your potential and make sure you've got the specific technical skills when the time comes for you to help out.

Why is this important?

Land is becoming more and more of a commodity with sea-level rise, population increases, and food shortages. We surveyors and spatial professionals have the skills to help increase tenure security, map natural disasters, and help set up a solid measurement foundation for emerging nations to grow from. This day has the potential to be the first small step in starting up a sustainable volunteering initiative.

What will you learn?

  • What is an aid agency looking for in a volunteer?
  • What opportunities are out there?
  • What is it really like to volunteer/work in aid as a surveyor?
  • Wisdom and practical knowledge on land tenure issues when it comes to working in communities who are on the spectrum between formal tenure and social tenure.
  • Fit-for-purpose technology (current and future.)
  • Have a go at some current community mapping software.
  • Where do I start with geodetic networks (upgrading existing, starting afresh, simple wins)

***Please see the updated workshop programme by clicking here***


NZIS Student Member: $30 +gst (Free membership for students)

NZIS Member: $50 +gst

Non-Member: $200 +gst (Consider becoming a member and save)

Only 45 places available in total.


  • Hon. Clare Curran

    Clare Curran has a long connection with Dunedin. She grew up and went to university in Dunedin, then spent 14 years in Australia and returned to Dunedin in 2002. In 2008 Ms Curran was elected as the Labour Member of Parliament for Dunedin South and in October 2017 was appointed Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Minister for Government Digital Services, Associate Minister for ACC and Associate Minister of State Services (Open Government). Ms Curran’s background is in journalism and communications. For further information see:


  • Claire Buxton

    Claire is as new as you are to the volunteering scene. She is a Senior Licensed Cadastral Surveyor at Calibre in Wellington. But ever since university, Claire has wanted to use her skills for 'good.' So while working full time at developing her land development skills, Claire also does self-research in the land administration side of things. Last year, Claire returned to the School of Surveying to complete David Goodwin's Advanced Land Tenure paper and was inspired to spread the wise word. Hence Claire looks forward to taking you through the day which promises to be a full-on, productive, and useful day!

  • David Goodwin

    David has worked and researched in Southern Africa in the land tenure and cadastral field for more than twenty years. His PhD, from the University of Otago, compared persisting socially-based land tenure for Māori and two Southern African tribes, and more recently a research interest has been how non-title registers may be used to buttress rights to land for vulnerable right holders between the extremes of communal and formal tenure. David has lectured at Otago since 2007, and his research interests include socially-based land tenure in transition, archaeoastronomy, literary cartography and cadastre.

  • Jordan Friis

    Jordan is a passionate young surveyor with an interest in land tenure and fit for purpose land administration. In 2017 he spent a month working in Nepal as part of the Volunteer Community Surveyor Program. He was involved in an initiative to secure land rights in a post disaster context.

    As well as his 4 years of work as a graduate surveyor, Jordan has volunteered as a refugee resettlement worker and been active in the Auckland branch of NZIS. Currently Wellington based, he works for Calibre Consulting and is involved in a range of construction and cadastral survey projects.

    He hopes to share his experience with other surveyors and build on the knowledge and skills he has gained in international land administration projects.

  • Andrew McDowell

    Andrew has worked as an information technology (IT) consultant for nearly 20 years. Since 2011, he has been involved with the development and implementation of the Solutions for Open Land Administration (SOLA) solution. SOLA is an open source land administration system sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). His involvement with SOLA has allowed Andrew to take on international consulting roles for the FAO and the World Bank, sharing his expertise in land administration systems in Samoa, Tonga, Lesotho, Ethiopia, and Vietnam.

  • Chris Pearson

    Chris Pearson Chris is a research fellow at Otago University School of Surveying where he is active in developing tools to provide accurate coordinates in deforming regions.

    Currently he is helping the Survey Department of Nepal to develop a new datum after the Gorka Earthquake. Chris completed a PhD at the University of Otago in 1991 and a PostDoc at Columbia University. Between 1993 1nd 2001 Chris was a research fellow at the School of Surveying where he was involved in measuring earth deformation.

    Between 2001 and 2011 Chris worked for the US National Geodetic Survey where he was geodetic advisor to the state of Illinois working with IDOT on geodetic/positioning issues and he was also responsible for maintaining the HTDP program.

    Chris is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors and an honorary member of the Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association.

  • Mick Strack

    My practical surveying experience includes work in Australia, the UK, Egypt, and Nelson as a survey technician with a NZ Certificate of Land Surveying. In 1993 I arrived in Dunedin to complete a BSurv, and I got hooked on Dunedin and on the academic life. I obtained my MSurv in 1996 and came on board at the School teaching Land Law, Land Administration and Land Tenure. My teaching and research also includes a focus on Māori land issues, sustainable land use, and water, river and sea rights and boundary issues. My PhD thesis was completed in 2008 looking at Indigenous people’s rights in rivers – a Ngai Tahu and Siksika (Canadian First Nation Band) comparison study. My interests include rowing, cycling, travelling, sailing, gardening and reading.

  • Neil Pullar

    Neil’s first international experience was when he was seconded to Papua New Guinea’s Department of Lands for 3 years. Ten years later he was again seconded this time to the Fiji to assist with the design and implementation of the Fiji LIS.

    This professional interest in international land administration work has continued with a particular interest in the application of sustainable technology. He has now worked in 30 countries in the Pacific, Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa as both a freelance consultant and for 5 years with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation where he lead the team that developed and field tested the SOLA and Open Tenure open source land administration software.

    Last year he lead a team to design a project in Indonesia to map actual land use at the village level in areas at risk from peat land and forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan. As part of this mapping over 3 million parcels will be mapped for the first time in support of the Government’s ambitious agrarian reform programme.

    This year, in ”semi-retirement”, he has continued his interest in the SOLA and Open Tenure software and has also become a Red Cross refugee resettlement volunteer.

  • Malcolm Archbold

    Malcolm has had over 30 years experience living and working in New Zealand and the South Pacific. During that time he has worked with Government Depts, non government organisations and aid organisations such as the World Bank and EU. His specialist area is geodetic surveys, GNSS surveys and aviation aerodrome surveys including aerial surveying using drone technology. Malcolm lives in Auckland, has his own survey consultancy business and is a part time lecturer in the Diploma of Surveying course at Unitec.