Most people recognize the white painted wooden survey pegs which mark the boundaries of properties. These are the visible markers that are placed by Licensed Surveyors. In addition Surveyors place a number of other marks, which are often not so visible. These are usually metal rods or tubes, normally 500mm in length, buried at a spade’s depth. These marks, generally referred to as traverse marks or control marks, are used to establish and replace the white boundary pegs. At times, important control marks are encased in a metal or plastic box, often with the words “Survey Mark” on the lid. Wooden boundary pegs, traverse marks, and Control survey marks are all considered to be “Survey marks”
Under the Cadastral Survey Act 2002, Section 55, “Every person commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 who knowingly or recklessly takes, destroys, or alters the position of, or markings on, a survey mark that has been placed or set up—
(a) for the control of cadastral surveys; or
(b) for the purposes of any cadastral survey conducted under, or for the purposes of, this Act or another Act”
Very few people knowingly destroy or alter these marks. However occasionally boundary marks are removed by contractors or homeowners, because they are in the way of structures or services that they wish to install. The removal or destruction of these marks would be an offence under the Act, particularly it the matter was brought to their attention beforehand.
It is in the public’s interest that survey marks are not removed or destroyed, as they form the basis of our land title system.