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SURV556 Advanced Land Tenure

An exposure to wider issues of land tenure, land administration, land registration and cadastral surveying in the national and international arena.

See SURV 456 for the details of this paper.

SURV 556 is geared towards students enrolled for honours degrees and other postgraduate qualifications. It has identical lectures, structure, teaching arrangements, graduate attributes and learning outcomes to SURV 456, differing only in an extended country project and augmented tutorial readings.

Paper title Advanced Land Tenure
Paper code SURV556
Subject Surveying
EFTS 0.1482
Points 20 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,303.57
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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216 points
SURV 426 and SURV 456

Students need to be registered for honours.

Although SURV 306 forms an ideal preparation for SURV 556, it is not a requirement.

Teaching staff
Convenor and Lecturer: Dr David Goodwin
Paper Structure
The paper explores a spectrum of land tenure issues including:
  • Boundaries
  • Securing and documenting rights in land
  • Land tenure types
  • Communal tenure
  • Informal settlement and land invasion
  • Adjudication
  • Fragmentation and multiple ownership
  • Community-based natural resource management
  • Credit
  • Voluntary land tenure guidelines
  • Land administration
  • Property markets and leasing
  • Treaty making
  • Case studies from other countries
Teaching Arrangements

The paper is offered in the second semester of alternate years, with the next course being offered in 2023. Teaching is by way of lectures, tutorials on topical land tenure issues and through students sharing their own findings on countries with land tenure and cadastral systems dissimilar to that of New Zealand. Students complete an in-depth study on these countries and, towards the end of the semester, present these country projects to the rest of the class.

There are two tests in the semester to ensure that learning is spread evenly throughout the semester, and sometimes a mini-test on tutorial readings prior to tutorials.


Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Skeleton lecture notes are available in the form of a course book costing approximately $12.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Improvements to land tenure systems are best done with an awareness of alternative models and wider global issues, and this paper provides knowledge and skills that should help graduates to take their place as players in the land tenure consultancies both within New Zealand and internationally.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 09:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 10:00-10:50 29-34, 36-41