Incorrect legal boundaries have the potential to cause “catastrophic consequences” for Cantabrians. Licensed Cadastral Surveyor and registered professional surveyor Adrian Cowie, of Topografo Limited, claims Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is approving surveys that place property boundaries in their incorrect locations. Lateral spreading and lateral stretching as a result of the earthquakes, has caused buildings, land and fencing to move horizontally, in turn disrupting legal boundaries. Licensed Cadastral Surveyors who survey boundaries for rebuilds of new homes are “increasingly placing the new boundary marks” in the incorrect location.
The consequences are potentially catastrophic. Insurers relying on new boundary marks may be forced to demolish new houses, homeowners are revictimised, neighbours lose land that is rightfully theirs and EQC Land Claim have the issue of shifting the land back to its original position. The amount of land movement means that it has become challenging for surveyors to determine where property boundaries lie. However legal boundaries as defined by land titles have not changed.
The Law Society plans to discuss the current frameworks that are in place and whether there is in fact a problem.
This is the letter Mr Adrian Cowie wrote to the Prime Minister and others:
- place a hold on the settlement of ALL insurance claims that are currently being processed until it can be accurately established what impact land movement has had on the Insured property;
- immediately instigate an independent (that is, independent) audit into ALL of EQC’s practices, assessment methods, expertise of their consultants;
- immediately instigate an independent audit into LINZ to determine why it has taken them 4 years to address this problem. I consider in fairness, that 12 months should have been ample time.
- initiate a complete re-assessment of all House and Land claims that both EQC and Southern Response have already settled in the areas of this movement.
- outline clearly why it has taken the Government 4 years to address this issue, when many surveyors knew immediately after the earthquakes what the impact would be.