Newsletter No.4 - 2001

In This Issue

GPS captures Fast Pegs
Comment : Planning satisfaction
Seminars popular
Waihi Beach Gold
Waikato follows WBOP
Community minded
Value in store at Fort Knox
On line. On view
City on line
Tauranga Home World

Newsletter #4

GPS captures Fast Pegs

Global positioning satellites have revolutionized the surveyors' world. New technology has constantly offered tempting alternatives.  Surveying Services' director, Brent Trail, is proud of taking on the new GPS equipment and says it is proving its worth with a faster turnaround and more scope for larger projects.

"Our desire is to provide our clients with the very best service that the profession can offer," says Brent.  "We want to reduce time and cost wherever possible.  It should come as no surprise that we are ahead of others in installing the GPS system."

Trevor Davey uses the GPS unit to measure a Bench Mark downtown Mount Maunganui.Replacing boundary pegs or starting a new subdivision has always been a laborious task.  The latest Swiss made real time GPS system has taken the hard work out of the equation.

The surveying world is moving faster and faster.  The same satellites that are used to re-visit your favourite fishing spot or trace lost yachtsmen are used with a little innovation.  Surveyors have transformed the position accuracy from 10 metres down to 10 millimetres - the thickness of a weetbix!

"This 'space age' technology gives our clients far superior service," says Brent.  "When District Councils need accurate positioning of water mains, sewers and boundary pegs they now call us."  From Waihi to Whakatane and over the Kaimais one man with a GPS can visit a site.  The unit is mounted on a pole and sends back the position and height of a mark.  It doesn't get much easier.

"We're helping more clients get where they're going faster."

"Whatever your job, we can overcome the obstacles with our Fast Pegs GPS service".

Comment : Planning satisfaction

We are yet to see any results of the review of the Western Bay District Plan subdivision rules ordered by the Environment Court.  The planning process appears to have given satisfaction to most.  Some lost the potential for an extra lot.  That was very unfortunate and is where we believe consideration could have been given.

The costs of development have evened out following appeals.  They don't appear to hinder subdivision too much now with roading impact fees at four to five thousand dollars per new lot.  Most accept that a fair and reasonable contribution should be made by those receiving economic gain from subdivision.

We have carried out a number of subdivisions using Transferable Development Rights (TDRs).  Although it does work, the process is difficult for those with the potential to sell several TDRs.  We believe Council's resistance to allowing them to be sold one by one is extreme.  With today's recording systems a record of TDR credits could easily be kept by Council, allowing a trading market to establish.  Forcing landowners to do it in one hit often makes it impossible.

Brent Trail
Managing Director

Seminars popular

Ian Boyd discussing Council requirements at a recent DTS seminar.The subdivision of land proved a popular topic at a recent seminar hosted by solicitors Dowd Thomason & Strachan. The seminars provide professional advice on various topics. Surveying Services' Trevor Davey introduced the overall process of land division while Ian Boyd gave an overview of the rules in the WBOP District for rural and lifestyle lots. DTS Lawyers Marise Allan and Peter Cassidy covered taxation concerns and the solicitor's role in subdivision. The seminars have been held regularly throughout the Bay of Plenty for the last seven years. Further series are planned.

Waihi Beach Gold

Development at Waihi beach is set to go through the roof.  The commissioning of the new sewerage scheme is expected to change the area's nature and provide subdivision opportunities.

Beachfront baches await connection to the new sewerage scheme at Waihi Beach."Beachfront sites will fetch over half a million dollars this year," says Mike Fowler.  "We are finding the pressure to subdivide is increasing at the beach.  Pio Shores is sold out and we only expect resales there now".  Mike knows Waihi Beach his family have been in real estate there for 40 years.

Subdivision has been on hold until a new treatment plant is completed.  Surveying Services has been studying the area and expects properties will be able to downsize by subdividing to 350m2 lots.  The Council is currently assessing how other factors such as coastal hazards and drainage limitations can be managed.  It is likely new development impact fees will result from these studies.

"We are getting more enquiries for properties with subdivision potential and motel sites," says Mike.  "Clients from Auckland tell me this is paradise an undiscovered gem".

Waikato follows WBOP

In a move similar to Western Bay, the Waikato District Council has snubbed the sacrificial '10-acre block'.  Recognising that it is no longer always economical for agriculture, and too large for lifestyle, they have proposed a new rule where Lots over 3.9 hectares can have two 'lifestyle' blocks subdivided off. The two limitations are to be age of title and soil types.

The Council is negotiating with opponents in the hope of avoiding a three year wait for a ruling by the Environment Court.

WBOP District Council introduced a rule in 1992, which allowed similar subdivision.  Currently WBOP allows lots of over 4 hectares to be subdivided subject to age of title.  The rules are more flexible on titles over 30 hectares.  For clarification on how these rules affect you please give us a call.

Community minded

When Keith Smith goes down to the park these days he has a quiet satisfaction to smile about.
The fields at Fergusson Park are marked out and can remain like that for many seasons to come.  You see Keith is an Otumoetai Soccer Club life member.  He and his helpers mark out the fields each season.

Keith Smith marks the lines at Matua's Fergusson Park while Brent Trail checks the GPS positioning"Marking out the pitches in the past has taken up to six weeks," says Keith.  "With the survey boys on the park this year, our team were busy just keeping up painting in the lines, they were so fast."

Brent Trail of Surveying Services heard the club were redesigning their fields.  "Our new GPS system had just arrived and it gave us a chance to put it to the test".

A topographical survey of the ground including the fourteen-field layout was inserted into computers back at the office.  The information was then transmitted to the ground where it was a simple process, using the new GPS equipment, to peg out the fields.  The Surveying Services team were able to complete the task in an afternoon.  "With the GPS we are able to guarantee accuracy with perfectly shaped fields," says Brent .

"The Club has enjoyed a long community relationship with Surveying Services in both sponsorship and technical assistance," notes Richard Kluit, administrator at the Club.  "We now also have Trevor Davey putting on the sprigs and exercising the whistle while refereeing for our Saturday morning juniors."

Value in store at Fort Knox

Developing property can be full of turns, twists and challenges, so why take any risk.  Rob Lilly, property developer, asked Surveying Services to manage his recent developments of two Fort Knox sites and was impressed.  "From the outset their initial proposal showed a detailed response to my needs," said Rob.  "I was able to follow the development procedure.  Details and costs were clearly set out for us.  The paper trail was carefully compiled and professionally presented".

"They would be one of the top companies we deal with as far as communication".

The project presented many turns along the way.  Trevor Davey, Project Manager was able to adapt the project to keep up with the changing circumstances as they unfolded.  "The communication was important and I found Trevor's regular reporting a great service," said Rob.

Rob Lilly looks forward to further developments and extensions.A major challenge came with the District Council's policy of charging Development Impact fees on subdivisions.  At one stage the developers were looking down the barrel at huge drainage costs.  Surveying Service's knowledge and Trevor's ability to negotiate with Council achieved a satisfactory result with a saving around $20,000.

"The project covered a full range of services," says Trevor, "starting as a resource consent application for subdivision.  We added an exchange of land with an adjoining school, a right of way across the land, and we're now in the process of converting the status of an existing right of way into a legal road.  This project involved surveying and planning expertise, patience and a major liaison role with both Rob and his Solicitor."

On line. On view

It's been five years in the making with eight million records about to go on line.  For the office of the Surveyor General it is a production that equates with Hollywood's best.

The team at Surveying Services will take "first night' in their stride but Brent Trail says, "The system called 'Landonline' is going to be a major step forward.  We will be able to download the necessary survey information and immediately set about doing the job."
Under Landonline, plans and titles are received in digital form together with information needed to commence pegging out boundaries.

Land information will be available completely in-house for us.  We are now a 'one stop shop'.  Land titles, including old survey plans, will be accessible over the internet, with the originals retained for historic purposes.  We have always maintained current records of plan numbers and titles but were restricted when ordering copies by fax or post.  There will be almost nothing we can't find out about any parcel of land.

City on line

"We're impressed," say the staff at Surveying Services.  Tauranga District Council have completed their testing with selected users of their business land information website called WebView Plus and are delighted with the endorsements.

The Web-based system gives companies a direct output from the Council's Geographic Information System (GIS) over the internet.  Surveying, Real Estate and Solicitors were targeted in the real time trial.

Terry Bibby explains a refinement to Brent Trail following the Trial period.Terry Bibby, Account Manager for the TDC Land Information Section, was delighted at the exchange of information explored.  "We see Landonline as a complimentary service to our Web View," says Terry.  Landonline provides ownership records whilst we fill the gaps with physical information such as an aerial photo and drainage details.  Together they show the total picture.

In taking these two important advances into our business at Surveying Services, we can now service a wider client base.  Delivering complete land information to Solicitors, Valuers and Real Estate agents will now complete the triangle when confirming land transactions.

Tauranga District Council Website can be found at

Tauranga Home World

"Take home more than ideas is the catch-phrase at the Home World Show. Surveying Services are now in their third year at the show, where our staff enjoys meeting and discussing ideas with the many visitors.  It is a chance to pop along and have a chat.

From left: David Johnson, Peter Wakelin, Ian Boyd, Debbie Fraser, Ian Matthews, Lyn Trail, Paul Francis, Brent Trail, Hilary Palmer, Trevor Davey.
From left: David Johnson, Peter Wakelin, Ian Boyd, Debbie Fraser,
Ian Matthews, Lyn Trail, Paul Francis, Brent Trail, Hilary Palmer, Trevor Davey.