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Every year a number of BSurv students apply for entry into the Honours program and take on the challenge of conducting a research project in a specific topic associated with surveying. This is a great opportunity for students to enhance intellectual faculties and capability for learning and problem solving.

Below is a list of previous topics selected by Honours students.

Honours Research Topics

* indicates the recipient of the LINZ research grant.
** indicates the recipient of the Holmes Miller Prize.


Peter LatuThe utilisation of multiple low-cost RTK GNSS receivers with simultaneous observations for cadastral surveying in New Zealand

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Since the introduction of the Global Positioning System ( GPS ), the Real Time Kinematic ( RTK ) Global Navigation Satellite Systems ( GNSS ) ( RTKGPS/GNSS ) method has been widely adopted to establish the relativity between survey marks for cadastral surveying in New Zealand. The relativity between survey marks (calculated vectors) can be obtained through differencing measured vectors. These measured vectors are usually separated by time, as a function of the time it takes to arrive at subsequent survey marks. Hence, the calculated vector will not have cancelled the atmospheric delays from the common base station due to the non-simultaneity of the observations.

We propose a method that utilises multiple low-cost RTKGNSS receivers making use of simultaneous observations, here referred to as between-baseline differenced ( BD ) RTK with multiple receivers (or “ MBD-RTK ”). The positioning performance will then be enhanced compared to the conventional method that utilises a single geodetic RTKGNSS receiver with non-simultaneous observations, here referred to as “conventional RTK ”.

At 100km measured vectors, the success rates of conventional RTK for two calculated vectors were 13 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively. These success rates were determined by the vector accuracy from the Rules for Cadastral Surveys 2010. The vector accuracy tolerance is calculated as 0.028m based on the vector distances employed in this contribution (on average, 115m). Conversely, the success rates of MBD-RTK for the corresponding two vectors were 51 per cent and 65 per cent. Hence, an improvement of 38 per cent and 46 per cent, respectively.

At 70km measured vectors, the success rates of conventional RTK for two vectors were 61 per cent and 44 per cent respectively. On the other hand, the success rates of MBD-RTK for the corresponding two vectors were 76 per cent and 91 per cent, respectively. This shows an improvement of 15 per cent and 47 per cent, compared to conventional RTK , respectively. The significant decrease in success rates (61 per cent to 44 per cent) was attributed to multipath effects.

At 30km measured vectors, the success rates of conventional RTK for two vectors were 89 per cent and 72 per cent, respectively. Conversely, the success rates for MBD-RTK for the corresponding two vectors were 97 per cent and 83 per cent, respectively. This shows an improvement of 8 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.

In conclusion, we have shown that the MBD-RTK 's calculated vector precision outperforms the calculated vector precision for conventional RTK which is usually employed for cadastral surveying in New Zealand. MBD-RTK also proved to be more efficient than conventional RTK in terms of both time and cost. The cost for multiple low-cost RTKGNSS receivers (one receiver = ~$400) are more bearable than the cost for a single geodetic RTKGNSS receiver (one receiver = ~$20,000). Subsequently, several projects can be undertaken concurrently and therefore increase profits for survey firms.

Finally, MBD-RTK includes procedures with which quality assurance is upheld and errors are generally detected. It was found that multipath is the only source of temporal correlation left after differencing measured vectors. This only holds true when the measured baselines are less than 10km. Nonetheless, a five-minute time separation between rover occupations is sufficient to remove this temporal correlation (Odolinski, 2012). We have shown that by having a five-minute observation period, multipath errors can be averaged out. Finally, this proves that the prescribed 30-minute separation (Grant, 2004) can be neglected when MBD-RTK is used.


Ryan McNieAn investigation into moving-baseline and between-baseline differenced RTK for car collision warning systems

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Traffic related accidents are the leading cause of death globally for people aged 15–29 and cause nearly 1.3 million deaths per year ( WHO , 2015). To lower the number of deaths, and reduce other costs of traffic accidents, automotive companies have developed damage mitigation and accident avoidance systems.

One form of accident avoidance is Collision Warning Systems ( CWS ). One particular CWS uses indirect Global Navigational Satellite System ( GNSS ) measurements. Raw GNSS observations are sent from one car to the other and the distance is calculated through a least squares adjustment, referred to as Moving-Baseline Real Time Kinematic ( MB-RTK ).

Sending a large number of observations, particularly in the context of multi-frequency, multi-constellation measurements, may delay the warning from reaching the driver. A recent contribution by Thom et al. (2018) outlines an alternative baseline calculation method, Between-Baseline Differenced RTK ( BD-RTK ), which can be applied to CWS s to reduce the amount of data, from upwards of 130 observations (three frequencies on 24 satellites) down to three positions (independent on the number of tracked signals and satellites), which needs to be sent to another car.

This dissertation shows the complimentary status of MB-RTK and BD-RTK comparing the precision and accuracy, multipath effects, and the time to calculate the baselines. It will be demonstrated that the integration of BD-RTK with MB-RTK can form robust indirect measurements between two cars for CWS s.


Luke JohnsonThe Kinematic Performance of Low-Cost, Multi-Constellation, Single-Frequency RTK Receivers, for integration with RPAS.

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Recent advances in technology make Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS) increasingly accessible for Photogrammetric applications. Essential to resolving a photogrammetric solution, is the linearization of the collinearity equations, causing any solution to rely on initial positions determined by the on-board GNSS unit.

The advent of GNSSs, and new global constellations, increase the availability of satellites around the world. This research considers testing for improved positions on RPAS, analysing a low-cost, multi-constellation, single-frequency GNSS receiver; leveraging the improved geometry and increased redundancy these constellations provide.

A precise trajectory determined using a robotic total station and a survey grade GNSS receiver allowed for dynamic testing of the unit. Using these two separate controls proved low-cost, multi-constellation, single-frequency, GNSS receivers can provide reliable positions with acceptable differences from a precise trajectory. Static tests also revealed the small multipath effect a RPAS body can have on the positioning performance of the low-cost receiver.

The final positions of the low-cost, multi-constellation, single-frequency, GNSS receiver differ from the precisely determined trajectory, and are influenced by multipath effects from the RPAS body. These errors are at the centimetre-level so that the final positions will still be significantly superior to positions determined using the C/A code of a single frequency L1 GPS receiver.

Michael ListerLife's a Bach: The past, present and future of baches and cribs on New Zealand public land.

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Baches and cribs, often located on public or private land not owned by the occupier, are a staple part of New Zealand outdoor recreational tradition. Current perceptions concerning baches and cribs were ascertained by interviewing right holders and land administrators. International land rights models were studied and contrasted. It was found that neither right holders nor administrators felt that new constructions should be allowed and, in some cases, administrators felt existing baches and cribs should be removed. The study concludes that the options are either to maintain the status quo or, using aspects of rights models elsewhere, to achieve a position giving administrators better control and occupiers more certain rights.

Nicki Shaw3D Point Cloud structural element, deformation modeling for Percy Burn Viaduct, Fiordland.

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The aim of this research was to develop an effective and accurate structural element modelling process in order to measure deformation over time, with particular reference to the Percy Burn Viaduct, Fiordland. Modelling specific elements rather than the entire structure this will help maintain structural integrity and highlight critical points of potential failure. This will make the restoration process for large degrading structures more viable as restoring only those critical elements is likely to save time and money.

Developing a modelling process involved obtaining 3D point cloud data and comparing relevant modelling software (Trimble Real Works, CloudCompare, and Revit) against a set criteria to determine their effectiveness. The chosen software was then used to create accurate models and quantify deformation. For the final process, a statistical analysis and software-accuracy experiment, which involved modelling an object with known movements, was carried out. These assessed the capability and accuracy of the software detecting actual movements in relation to the instrument accuracy and the build-up of errors.

The research concluded that mesh models created in CloudCompare were the most effective for maintaining the true shape of structural elements. These models were then used to create cross-sections to visually assess deformation. The largest movement of the specific beams modelled was in the horizontal plane of 29 mm north, detected on the middle vertical beam of pier 5 of the Percy Burn Viaduct. The analysis of statistical testing showed that all movements detected were significant after accounting for instrument accuracy. To further confirm deformation had occurred the software test detected movements such as translations and rotations to a millimetre level accuracy. This confirmed that minimal errors had built-up and the effectiveness of the process for detecting deformation. Overall, it is hoped that this process will assist with the restoration of structural elements of the viaduct and more broadly help professionals maintain and model other large degrading structures.

Julian ThomBlurred Lines: an investigation into property in subsurface rail and road tunnel spaces.

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This dissertation examines property in subsurface rail and road tunnel spaces. The research aim is to evaluate whether New Zealand's property rights system and legal system clearly define property in these spaces. To ensure the quality of the research, information was obtained from various sources using assorted data collection and analysis techniques including a review of the statutory framework and literature, face-to-face semi-structured interviews with experts and affected parties, and contemporary and historical case studies of legal arrangements for subsurface tunnel spaces.

Property in subsurface tunnel spaces is defined by the property rights system, which governs statutory interests, and the legal system, which governs common law rights. The research found that the property rights system does not clearly determine and intelligibly describe vertical boundaries of statutory interests, nor clearly define the vertical extent of interests that do not have vertical boundaries. The research also found that the legal system does not clearly define the vertical extent of common law rights. The common law presumption is that rights extend down to the centre of the earth and up into the heavens. However, this research shows that the strength and applicability of the common law presumption is unclear and the presumption can be contested. The research concludes that New Zealand's property rights system and legal system do not clearly define property in subsurface tunnel spaces, and identifies areas for further research.


Mitchell HolyoakeRecognising, providing for and protecting outstanding natural features and landscapes.

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The Resource Management Act 1991 requires the protection of outstanding natural features and landscapes (ONFLs) from inappropriate development to be recognised and provided for.

The Act, however, does not define the terms “outstanding”, “natural” or “inappropriate” consequently leaving the courts to interpret and define these terms, which at times can be inconsistent. Also, regional councils have no statutory direction for how these areas are to be recognised and provided for.

This research investigates how ONFLs are being recognised and provided for and whether a national policy statement could provide consistency for how these features and landscapes are recognised and provided for.

Callum  JohnsThe Sky's the Limit:  How applicable is the use of low-cost single-frequency, multi-constellation GNSS receivers to everyday surveying applications in NZ.

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Developing GNSS constellations such as the Chinese BeiDou and European Galileo systems are making multi-constellation GNSS positioning feasible. In particular, low-cost single-frequency receivers have potential to save significant capital cost in everyday surveying applications.

Two important characteristics of these low-cost receivers have been investigated. The impact of the antenna on positioning was analysed by determining the Antenna Phase Centre offsets of a low-cost antenna, before the temporal correlation of the receivers was quantified. Finally, the receivers were tested in a real-world environment by conducting a cadastral survey. The performance of low-cost GNSS is highly promising for future surveyors.

Ahmad MusaMonitoring on a Budget: Exploring the monitoring capabilities of low-cost, multi-constellation, single-frequency GNSS receivers.

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With more Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) constellations being available in the Asia- Pacific region, the concept of multi-constellation GNSS baseline observations is becoming more accessible in New Zealand. The increase in the number of satellites means that low-cost, single- frequency GNSS receivers could leverage the increased redundancy and improved satellite geometry to provide precise solutions, which are comparable to dual-frequency survey-grade receivers.

Having access to precise, low-cost GNSS positioning is valuable to the surveying profession. The purpose of this research project is to investigate the feasibility of using low- cost, multi-constellation, single-frequency GNSS receivers as an affordable means of continuous deformation monitoring.

Michaela ThomsonMapping the Stones: Astronomical significance of Standing Stones on Ra'iatea Maraes

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This research investigates whether there is an astronomical significance in the alignment of standing stones at marae Taputapuātea and Hauviri, on Ra'iātea in the Society Islands. This research finds only limited evidence of any astronomical significance of the alignment of the stones, primarily with the alignment of the stones at marae Hauviri.

Further research is necessary before a conclusion on the relationship can be made. Methods of presenting astronomical and archaeological data effectively to a non-astronomer audience is also explored. Traditional and digital visual methods are discussed.


Christopher PageProfiling the Alpine Fault

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It is well documented that the Alpine Fault accommodates a significant amount of the strain accumulation of the South Island, New Zealand. Using geodetic measurements from GPS campaign work along a profile between Hawea and Haast, and from Haast to south of Jackson Bay, it is possible to demonstrate that not all of the measured Pacific-Australian plate motion is accommodated by the Alpine Fault. The modelled strike-slip and dip-slip rates of 18 ± 2 and 2 ± 2 mm/yr respectively are in agreement with previous studies and thus demonstrates the predominantly strike-slip nature of the Alpine Fault.


Samantha MogfordTimes they are Changing: How the National School of Surveying is responding to global environmental imperative

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Times are changing. Concerns over environmental degradation and methods of sustainability are at the fore. This research investigates how the National School of Surveying is responding to global environmental imperatives. This is achieved through exploring the responsibilities New Zealanders and surveyors with regard to protecting the environmental and living sustainably, exploring evidence from the University of Otago and the School of Surveying about how they are responding to the need for environmental education and sustainable action, and exploring methods of monitoring how the School of Surveying students are responding to environmental education.

A combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis was incorporated into the research. The qualitative methods involved analysing literature and policies, and designing interviews and analysing the data. The quantitative methods involved content analysis of the New Zealand Surveyor journal, collecting and analysing data from the New Ecological Paradigm questionnaire (NEP), and designing and analysing a questionnaire for the National School of Surveying.

It is no longer socially acceptable for professionals to perform without sustainable thinking for future generations. Every individual, community and institution has responsibility to care for and manage the environment in a sustainable way, and surveyors and land professionals are further bound to these responsibilities through the institutional policies that bind them. University of Otago recognises the benefit of preparing environmentally aware graduates and this is evident within incorporated graduate attributes, however, the conviction of the University's environmental and sustainable goals is lacking. Furthermore, there is an increasing focus on the need for effective environmental education, with universities across the globe looking into methods of assessing levels of environmental literacy and awareness. This project has reinforced the validity of using a tool such as a questionnaire for monitoring how students are responding. The results from the interview data, as well as the NEP and School of Surveying-specific questionnaire indicate that students at the School of Surveying are responding well to the inclusion of environmental education in the curriculum. There is evidence that the School of Surveying is responding in line with global imperatives through changes in curriculum and the alignment between the curriculum and the expectations of the surveying institute.

Sam WellsAdapting for the Future: Coastal erosion responses of local authorities – an emphasis on New Plymouth and Dunedin

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This research explores the coastal erosion mitigation schemes by local authorities in New Plymouth and Dunedin. By performing a qualitative analysis of technical reports and key informant interviews, I am able to recognise the mitigation trends to coastal erosion as well as the future projection for action, whether it is long-term or short-term. Some limitations resulted from the interview process, including the willingness of participation of informants and unstructured communication. Such a research technique can be improved with increased knowledge and repetition.

Being able to freely enjoy the coast is an integral part of the New Zealand way of life. However, with the growing pressures and threats facing the coastal environment of sea level rise, we are at risk of losing the very qualities of the coast that we value the most. Urban centres located on the coast continue to expand through development, while the Resource Management Act 1991 and New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement 2010 emphasise the preservation of natural character.

The coastal walkway of New Plymouth attracts public praise for recreational use, however, this conceals the truth that erosion is occurring in front of the seawall. At Ocean Beach Dunedin, emergency repairs of the St Clair seawall are ongoing, while a buried backstop wall is planned to protect the once natural dune system. Trends of hard protection requiring constant maintenance reflect little incentive for long-term solutions and maintaining the             natural character of the coastline, conflictual with the NZCPS 2010. The concern of managed retreat being unfeasible is debatable, as evidence shows maintenance and repair costs of hard protection continue to place stress on councils.


Ella DangerfieldScanning for movement

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Terrestrial laser scanning is becoming an increasingly prevalent technique in the surveying industry. Little investigation has been done on the effectiveness of scanners for long range land deformation monitoring and the associated accuracy and precision.

This research sets out to determine whether using terrestrial laser scanning techniques is an effective method of monitoring land deformation. More specifically; from distances of several hundred meters away using the Riegl LMS Z420i scanner. Major errors associated with these techniques were identified in literature and it was found that one of the larger sources of error is scanning geometry; primarily the distance and angle of incidence of the surface to the scanner.

The practical aspect of this project aimed to determine the effect of these two parameters on the obtained accuracy and precision of the scan. By scanning scenes with simulated deformation movements at different distances and angles of incidence, the effect on accuracy and precision was analysed using comparisons of planes representing certain surfaces in the data. The results concluded that precision is affected by both distance and incidence angle; with high precision being obtained at short distances and large incidence angles. Accuracy is not significantly affected by either of these parameters over distances up to 250m.

Thirdly, the viability of registering scans together based on matching surfaces was investigated as an alternative to using control marks. This was performed by registering scans together that were taken from precisely the same scanner position. The results were better than can practically be obtained by using GPS control, but are perhaps not as good as observing control by total station.

It is recommended for future land deformation monitoring applications that in order to obtain the best accuracy and precision; the setup distance is limited to 200 - 250m, large incidence angles are used where possible and the registration of scans by matching surface is utilised as a precise and time saving technique.


James BerghanStriking a balance: Balancing cultural and productive uses of Māori Freehold Land

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Māori land holds a significant and special place for Māori because it is proof of ancestry, and thus, gives a sense of identity and belonging. Despite the issues inherent with the land, Māori today still have that affinity towards the land. This research sought to investigate the relationships Māori have with land, what their aspirations are for such land, and their willingness to accept a land-use compromise balancing cultural and productive uses of the land.

Through interviews and questionnaires, this concept was examined with regard to three differing blocks of Māori land. Comparisons between owner responses highlight the potential to enhance cultural relationships, with consideration for the economic viability of the land an option if the land is suited and owners are willing, though further research is required to give statistical weight to the results.

Ethan BolstadEffective Regulation of Aquaculture in New Zealand: A comparison with South Australia

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The 2004 aquaculture reforms in New Zealand resulted in the 2000s becoming somewhat of a lost decade for the aquaculture industry. The Act confined aquaculture to particular zones called Aquaculture Management Areas (AMAs), which had to be incorporated into the regional coastal plan. Practically no new space for marine farming was created during this period, as the industry became stifled due to the management and zoning procedures. The AMA system was deemed too time consuming and complex as it strayed away from the proven process under the Resource Management Act.

In contrast, South Australia has established a world‐renowned aquaculture management framework. This has enabled their aquaculture industry to develop from an industry that barely existed 20 years ago, to one that now generates almost one‐third of the States income.

As a result of the stagnation of the aquaculture industry in New Zealand, the government created the Aquaculture Reform (Repeals and Transitional Provisions) Amendment Act 2011. The Act, which came into effect on October 1st 2011, aimed to facilitate the sustainable development of aquaculture by creating a more streamlined and simple management system. The most significant change introduced by the Act was the removal of the requirement for aquaculture activities to take place in AMAs. In addition, the roles and powers of different agencies involved with aquaculture management were also altered, which resulted in the Minister responsible for Aquaculture obtaining a new power to amend regional coastal plans in relation to aquaculture management. Furthermore, changes were made to characteristics of a coastal permit for a marine farm. This included further protection for re‐consenting marine farms, permits now lapsing after 3 years of inactivity, a minimum consent duration of 20 years introduced and aquaculture activities no longer permitted activities in the regional coastal plan.

The new legislation is in the process of making a remarkable impact on the development of the aquaculture industry, with the industry in New Zealand hoping these changes will contribute towards achieving their goal of becoming a 1 billion dollar industry by 2025.

Matthew CarsonFiltering the Catch

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The quality of urban stormwater runoff has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years with an increasing public awareness of contaminants being discharged into aquatic environments from stormwater off roads and other built surfaces. Through a case study of the Otago Harbour, the ability of treatment devices to improve urban stormwater quality has been investigated.

All three treatment devices tested improved the water quality, though not always to a set standard, with the extent of improvements being dependent on the amount of initial contamination in the stormwater and the specific contaminants themselves. For instance, lead and total suspended solid levels were largely reduced, copper contaminants were minimally reduced and zinc still exceeded the standards tested against after treatment. In addition, only two of the three devices achieved contamination removal rates as claimed by their manufacturers.

Dunedin and Otago Harbour environments currently are not restricted by any numerical quality standards. Such a standard would be required to maintain the quality and enable adequate future monitoring of the Otago Harbour.

Richard FordCanvassing Property Rights: Expected property rights of long term campers at Glendhu Bay

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Long term occupation traditionally forms the basis of property rights. However, in a camping ground occupation is short term in nature and a license to occupy defines any rights. This qualitative research explores the two core conceptual fields of property rights and territoriality in determining what the expected property rights of long term returning campers at Glendhu Bay are. An inductive approach created a research design that included 12 interviews of key informants, extensive literature review and record searching to successfully maintain a balance given the participatory nature of the research.

The fundamental components of the research manifest themselves as; the underlying tenure and nature of rights, a system of applying these rights and an exploration of the campers' attitudes towards the land. Consequently, it was established that the land is classified as Recreation Reserve, vested in the Local Authority for the purposes of camping in accordance with the Reserves Act 1977 and the original gift of the land.

A license to occupy is extended by management to the campers, formalising the rights held. These rights are explicitly outlined by the conditions of the license that expires upon departure. However, at Glendhu Bay, a roll-over booking system informally fills the role of a cadastre in a formal system of land tenure, providing a security of tenure that allows the annual repetition of the camper's summer holiday. Alongside this is the significant relationship with the land that has developed. This deep-seated connection to their 'piece of dirt' is primarily due to the influence of the surrounding physical and social features. Thus, the expected rights of campers are relatively simple and are successfully recognised within the culture and operation of the camp.

Campbell HillsExploring the use of Mobile Augmented Reality for the Visualisation of Cadastral Survey Data

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Global visions for cadastres, the ever changing demands of society, and incessant technological development all promote the utilisation of advanced technologies within cadastral systems. Whilst New Zealand has what is widely considered to be one of the most advanced, digital cadastres in the world, there is plenty of scope for further development. The utilisation of advanced technologies within cadastres will always be necessary in order to satisfy societal demand.

Augmented reality (AR) is an advanced technology that is becoming increasingly common in everyday use, yet it is rarely applied within an industrial context. This technology allows our real world view to be overlaid in a seamless manner by virtual models; thereby providing users with the ability to visualise and interpret physical and digital objects in unison.

This paper explores the potential value of AR in the visualisation of cadastral survey data by cadastral survey practitioners. The principle objective of this research is to determine whether a mobile AR system (MARS) would be a useful tool for the cadastral survey profession to employ in the visualisation of cadastral survey data.

The New Zealand cadastral system has been examined, with reference to cadastral visions, and a prototype cadastral MARS has been developed and subjected to a usability study by cadastral survey practitioners. The results obtained through the usability study questionnaire, and interpretation of these with reference to cadastral systems and visions, provide an assessment of the value and potential of mobile AR cadastral data visualisation in professional practice.

It is revealed that a MARS would be useful for the cadastral survey profession to employ in cadastral survey data visualisation, and that this tool is aligned with global cadastral visions. Members of the cadastral survey profession have positive attitudes toward a cadastral MARS, believing it would be a valuable tool and that cadastral survey data is well suited to this type of application. These members do, however, have reservations about the extent to which it could be employed. Because the cadastral MARS concept is in its infancy, further research is required to ascertain exactly how a cadastral MARS may be of value. As such, this research provides a foundation and impetus for future research and development in the field of cadastral AR.

Dillan Hockly A Comparative Study of Dynamic Stormwater Models in a New Zealand Urban Environment

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In the area of stormwater modelling there are various methods of, and models for, calculating stormwater runoff, and many software packages that simulate these methods and models. In New Zealand there are two different methods of calculating stormwater runoff: the Rational Method and the SCS Method. Two different models are also used for calculating stormwater runoff: the lumped parameter model and the distributed parameter model. Several software packages can be used to simulate stormwater calculations; in Auckland the Regional Council requests that the HEC-HMS software package is used, as prescribed in the ARC TP 108, for calculating stormwater runoff. However, the software package 12d has also developed a model that is based on the ARC TP 108.

The purpose of this research is to examine the differences between the Rational Method and the SCS Method of calculating the peak stormwater flow rate, to identify the differences between the distributed parameter model and the lumped parameter model, and to identify the differences between the 12d and the HEC-HMS software packages.

This was done by creating two full networks and modelling them in different models so that they represent a range of different methods, models, and software packages. A curve for each of the models was then created by changing the rainfall depth. The curves were then used to analyse where and why the differences between the models occurred.

The results from this research showed that there are differences between the calculated peak stormwater flow rate when the methods, models, and software packages are compared, and that all of the differences were specific to each of the different models for their own reasons.

Jason KouwenhovenThe Role of Local Authorities in the Provision of Affordable Housing: A Queenstown Lakes District focus

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In 2012, New Zealand housing was classified as “severely unaffordable.” Many local authorities have identified housing affordability as a serious issue, yet few councils have taken active steps towards mitigating the problem. The efficacy of the Queenstown Lakes District Council's affordable housing strategy has been studied in order to offer recommendations to assist in solving housing affordability issues within other regions. Interviews were undertaken in the collection of primary information, while a literature review and attending a conference provided secondary information.

Overall, a lack of clarity about the role of councils with regard to the provision of affordable housing has resulted in inactivity from many local authorities. It was concluded that local authorities do have a role in the provision of affordable housing as they can impose regulations according to grass roots level knowledge. I propose that key stakeholders should have the ability to become involved in the design of a strategy and appropriately tailor it to the needs of their community. Early, genuine and consistent consultation between multiple stakeholder parties is of critical importance in developing a successful strategy.

Through effectively imposing inclusionary zoning policies, by coupling requirements with incentives, affordable housing will become more available and both councils and developers will have a high degree of certainty regarding development outcomes. I suggest that local authorities should ensure sufficient land supply is available for development, that restrictive urban limits not be imposed and that consent applications be processed efficiently and with a reasonable amount of flexibility to allow for innovative designs. Creating  partnerships between third party organisations and local authorities is pivotal in providing sufficient affordable housing for communities; however, if communities truly wish to implement an effective strategy then citizens may have to come to terms with increases in taxes to fund initiatives and programmes run by the third-party organisations.

Andrew MatthewsOpportunities for Urban Food Production to Create a More Sustainable and Resilient Dunedin

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A convergence of economic, institutional social and environmental factors threaten food security within the global food system (Lang, 2008) Urban agriculture as a strategy seeks to improve the cities capacity for food production, as a means of improving urban sustainability, resilience, and food security. The DCC Spatial plan recognises that there are significant opportunities for urban agriculture to supplement its rural productive capacity. This research takes a qualitative approach to determine the potential for the urban food objective of the Dunedin City Council's spatial plan to create a more sustainable and resilient Dunedin.

The research is focused on a strategic policy that is in its early stages, and is responding to an emerging issue. Therefore the research is largely contained within a literature review, which was used to identify international best practice examples of planning for urban agriculture. Interviews with council staff, and a policy review, were used to anchor the best practice examples to the Dunedin context. The examples were assessed on their potential to overcome barriers to the implementation of the urban agriculture objective of the spatial plan. Through this research I hope to assist, and inform those wishing to provide for urban agriculture through planning.

Matthew NistorStormwater Best Management Practice: The application of international design criteria of vegetative swales to a New Zealand context

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Vegetated swales are shallow, relatively wide open channels with a complete vegetative cover used to convey and mitigate stormwater runoff. The performance of swales and their effective uses in land development in Otago are not particularly well understood. In this project a literature review examined performance parameters of the swales using various software programs that are used to determine the hydraulic conditions to convey stormwater runoff.

This research found that comparing the different design values specified by different consenting authorities' can impact on swale discharge volumes and contaminant loads. Retrofitting an existing stormwater design demonstrates the positive contribution swales can make to a stormwater network. The vegetation specification for swales influences the contaminant removal through a swale. Specification of soil composition and condition is critical if a swale is designed as an infiltration device. Software programs used to model conveyed stormwater runoff need further development to accurately model flow conditions along a swale.

Logan RossRelaxing in the Sounds: Modelling the postseismic relaxation following the 2009 Dusky Sound earthquake

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The aim of this research project, to model the postseismic relaxation following the Dusky Sound earthquake, was achieved by the determination, generation, and application of various decay functions to geodetic time series data, to determine a best fit model and the governing relaxation mechanisms. A power-law decay trend model was found to provide the best estimates for the postseismic relaxation following the 2009 Dusky Sound earthquake. Inherently the postseismic relaxation is likely to be an expression of dislocation creep which suggests a ductile response to coseismic slip.

The time series data was obtained from a network of continuously tracking Global Navigation Satellite System stations, distributed across the southern South Island of New Zealand. The data was de-trended by modelling the interseismic velocity, position offsets, and periodic variations, to isolate the postseismic relaxation signal. This relaxation signal was modelled using logarithmic, exponential, power-law, and combined relaxation functions, and an analysis of variance was undertaken to test the significance of including such functions. The information produced by this modelling and analysis of variance allows for the determination of a power-law function as the best fit model.


Michael AllanWill a Neighbourhood Rating System be Effective In New Zealand?

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The shape and layout of our neighbourhoods have a major influence on the sustainability of our built environment. With careful attention to the practice and principles of urban design, our communities can be places that will last well into the future as adaptable, resilient, and sustainable areas.

Sustainability is now an important issue with increasing urbanisation and pressure on our natural resources. Neighbourhood design has a vital role in improving the sustainability of our built environment. A certification process may be a valuable assessment mechanism for achieving higher urban design standards in existing and newly planned communities. By using neighbourhood rating systems, communities can follow a more sustainable model where better urban development is encouraged. The results should provide a better balance between the built and natural environment.

This paper seeks to determine whether a neighbourhood rating system would be effective at assessing and encouraging sustainable urban design outcomes for better neighbourhood development in New Zealand. Questionnaire responses from key stakeholders of such a tool including council planners and land developers have been used along with the appropriate literature to draw conclusions as to whether it will be an appropriate assessment mechanism for the New Zealand land development environment. Council planners see a neighbourhood rating system as being a much needed solution, but developers will only use it if it shows compelling benefits. Neighbourhood rating systems are only a new concept, but with the growing portfolio of rated developments overseas their expected benefits should soon be realised.

Neil BatesA Quantitative Comparison of Terrestrial Laser Scanning and the Areoscan Photogrammetry System.

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Terrestrial laser scanning is a current industry standard for acquiring 3D point clouds of objects in a range of spatial information applications. Photogrammetry is a secondary tool for acquiring 3D point clouds in the same industries. Terrestrial laser scanning operates on the propagation speed of light through the atmosphere whilst photogrammetry uses the mathematical relationship of light rays, in a camera and series of images. The quantitative principles and limitations of each have been well researched and applied comparisons have been made between them in other research.

Areoscan is a fully automated photogrammetric technique which produces 3D point clouds from series of overlapping images. The quantitative quality of Areoscan has been briefly estimated by its developers, but its comparison with a terrestrial laser scanner has not been made. This research designed three test regimes, based on past regimes and applications, to compare Areoscan with terrestrial laser scanning and state of the art photogrammetry. A data processing and analysis methodology was established, which led to the results that Areoscan is an order of magnitude(s) less accurate and precise, than terrestrial laser scanning and state of the art photogrammetry, in close-range applications. The results have been interpreted into recommendations, on the applications of Areoscan and future developments of its system.

Alistair BondPublic Access to and Recreation on High Country Conservation Lands.

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The South Island high country is an area that many New Zealanders have a close affinity with. For members of the public seeking recreational opportunity, Crown owned lands in the South Island high country offer a wide range of both active and passive opportunities. The tenure review process formally initiated by the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998, has aimed to further enhance these opportunities, with one purpose of the Act “the securing of public access to and enjoyment of reviewable land.”

The extent of the public high country conservation lands that have been formed during the tenure review process, and other related processes, are investigated in this research. Also considered, is how effectively desires for access and recreation have been promoted and what recent changes in management will mean in the future.

The high country is well represented with publically accessible lands open to access and recreation. A good deal of the land added to the conservation estate has been assembled as high country conservation parks. These parks are prominent single entities, allowing effective promotion and recognition of the recreational opportunities they offer. The Department of Conservation and now the Walking Access Commission, support these opportunities through different schemes, allowing generally assured access to recreation in the high country.

Joshua Columbus***An Assessment of Fractal Interpolation for Deriving Digital Elevation Models (DEM).

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Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) are required for a number of applications such as the orthorectification of satellite imagery, geoid computations, hydrological, environmental, and climate modelling. A key requirement for many of these applications is some form of accuracy or quality assurance. The quality of a DEM can be derived from how well it manages to represent the underlying terrain. This, in turn, stems from two fundamental processes; the initial accuracy of the acquired topographic data and the interpolation technique used to create the model.

Due to the complex nature of these errors inherent in a DEM, a models quality is not able to be quantified in a single measure. Alternatively, various measures can be used to better assess the quality of a DEM. A set of metrics is compiled to assess the error within DEMs and allow the various qualities of different models to be differentiated. In this context, four existing nationwide DEMs were tested using a range of metrics to provide users with a better understanding of the errors and quality of each product. This allowed direct comparisons to be made between the existing datasets. The results of these comparisons showed the 15m spatial resolution NZSoSDEM_v1.0 to be the best performing DEM, with some of the metrics showing significant improvements. This demonstrates the increase in quality, compared to other existing products, that comes in addition with a finer spatial resolution.

Natural terrain also has the ability to be characterised through fractal geometry as it displays self similarities at different scales. In looking for ways to improve a DEMs representation of terrain, fractal based methods of interpolation have been tested to represent the fractal characteristics of terrain. To assess whether this fractal interpolation can significantly improve the representation of terrain compared to traditional interpolation techniques, a fractional Brownian motion interpolation is compared with a spline interpolation for a DEM over different scales. The fractal features of terrain are firstly extracted by estimating the fractal dimension before incorporating this into a fractional Brownian motion to represent the fractal nature of the surface.

The results indicated fractal interpolation cannot improve the representation of terrain quantitatively. The stochastic nature involved with representing the fractal nature of terrain seems to always be outperformed by the classical techniques that aim to minimise errors. Positively, fractal interpolation can provide a qualitative improvement to the terrains representation. This is well suited for computer graphics applications and the creation of synthetic landscapes. The best interpolation technique for a DEM will always be dependent on its intended use.

Malcolm DawsonRear lane vehicle access to residential development in New Zealand.

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Rear lane vehicle access is an urban design tool used in residential development, which is gaining popularity in a number of countries around the world, particularly America, England, Canada and Australia. In New Zealand the use of rear lane vehicle access is appearing more frequently as designers seek ways to incorporate modern urban design principles into subdivision design.

The opinions of a range of land development professionals including urban designers, town planners, developers and Local Authority staff on the use of rear lane vehicle access were sought. These data were combined with data from an investigation of fifteen case studies of residential developments. The case studies are an examination of existing subdivisions that incorporate rear access lanes. In addition a valuation analysis of one of the case study subdivisions compared the relative land value of standard residential lots with rear lane accessed lots. Finally the relative impervious paving site coverage of the two lot types was determined using examples of each type from two different subdivisions. There was a higher average quantity of paving provided for vehicles on rear lane accessed lots than on standard lots in the examples investigated.

It was found that rear lane vehicle access is a valid urban design tool that has measurable advantages if recognised principles such as crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) are taken into account in the design. The valuation study has revealed a positive financial advantage that can be achieved using rear lanes over conventional subdivision. The potential to increase housing density is another benefit of using rear lanes that was confirmed by the same valuation study.

A number of further research themes are identified in the conclusion, i.e. is there any correlation between the occupation of those interviewed and the answers they gave? What are the positive and negative aspects of rear lanes from the residents“ point of view? How can indigenous design principles be integrated with modern urban design? These are some of the questions that arose during the research which warrant further exploration.

Rear lanes can be recommended if used cautiously to achieve specific objectives. The goal may be increasing housing density, providing access to land with restricted access or creating a subdivision with a variety of housing types.

Kathryn GregoryManaging Esplanade Areas for Conservation, Access and Recreation.

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Esplanade reserves and strips provide a means for territorial authorities to gain public interests in privately owned water margin land in New Zealand. The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) sets out three purposes for esplanade reserves and strips; to contribute to the protection of conservation values, to enable public access, and to provide a recreational use right for the public.

Territorial authorities hold the responsibility for managing esplanade areas (a collective term for esplanade reserves and strips) in their region. In some situations the protection of conservation values of an esplanade area may require public access and recreation to be restricted. In this way, the three purposes can sometimes be in conflict with each other. Dealing with the issues associated with managing water margin areas, such as the conflicting purposes, is the responsibility of the relevant territorial authority. This research examines the issues encountered in the management of these areas by using Dunedin City Council's esplanade reserves as a case study. The results were variable, with some Dunedin reserves achieving one or more of the purposes and others not achieving any. It was found that it is worthwhile to create reserves or strips because they can achieve a conservation purpose even if they are managed passively by the council. Approaches taken by other territorial authorities in New Zealand are drawn upon to make recommendations to the Dunedin City Council for improvements to how esplanade areas are managed.


Julia Nicolson*Landonline: The Effects of Landonline on the New Zealand Survey process.

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The growing use of digital technologies in the surveying profession accelerated during the mid 1990s with the development of the business case to construct what is now known as Landonline. The previously manual process of conducting a cadastral survey has been digitalised into a far more digital and automated process.

The current literature includes the business case for Landonline and the associated drivers behind the changes and, the development of the Landonline software and the issues associated with this development. There is however a distinct lack of recently published literature relating to the effects of the introduction of Landonline on the survey process and the mandatory use of e-survey. The method used in this research project included a critical review of relevant literature, interviews with relevant Landonline users, and subsequent analysis of responses.

The purpose of this paper is to establish the changes to the survey process due to the introduction of Landonline and the impact of these changes. The development process of the Landonline software system, including discussion on the drivers behind this process and the problems encountered during this phase has been outlined. This provides an overview that is useful for understanding the reasons why certain development decisions were made.

The initial aims and associated benefits of the introduction of Landonline have also been established to ascertain the intended outcomes. The historical and current work flows are discussed to provide a foundation for comparison of changes. The effects of the changes to the survey process, as identified by those interviewed have been outlined. This provides a view of how those working in the survey system have been affected by the introduction of Landonline. A brief discussion chapter highlights the wider effects that have occurred as a result of the introduction of Landonline, that have become apparent during the course of my research.

Fiona RobertsonChanges to Boundary Monumentation in the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010.

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Cadastral boundaries in New Zealand have operated under a fixed boundary system since British settlement in the early nineteenth century. The system that requires all boundaries are monumented, and the marks provide primary evidence of boundary position. Legislation since 1879 has set out requirements regarding monumentation, specifying when boundaries need to be marked and how to mark them.

In 2007, the Surveyor General proposed some dramatic changes to boundary marking specifications. It was proposed that New Zealand move from a system which requires compulsory monumentation to a more relaxed system in which the landowner decides whether or not they think it necessary to mark their boundaries. A number of submissions opposed certain suggestions in these proposed rules, and amendments were made culminating in the Rules for Cadastral Survey 2010. With the rules having been implemented in May 2010, we are now in a position to assess the new monumentation rules.

This research aims to determine whether the 2010 Rules have gone far enough in addressing monumentation issues, given New Zealand“s current and future user needs and in light of current technology. Through an extensive literature review, analysis of submissions, interviews with surveyors and the Surveyor-General and case studies of international boundary systems, conclusions are drawn as to whether or not the new cadastral survey rules deal with boundary monumentation in the best way possible for New Zealand.

Sharleen SwamiSurveying the Surveying Education: How Prepared are the National School of Surveying, Bachelor of Surveying Graduates for the Workforce?

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The School of Surveying is the major provider of surveying graduates for the New Zealand Surveying profession. This dissertation scopes how prepared graduates of the University of Otago Bachelor of Surveying (BSurv) degree are for the surveying profession.  The quantitative analysis was used and it involved measuring the preparation of graduates through rating techniques in questionnaires. The employers“ and graduates“ questionnaires asked the respondents to rate skills and capabilities of graduates in the various surveying competencies. Further to this, the 2010 Graduate Opinion Survey conducted by the University of Otago Quality Advancement Unit was used to provide an indication of the level of general professional skill development graduates gained at the University of Otago.

The results of this study show that graduates are well prepared for the workforce. Employers and graduates perceived the strengths of BSurv graduates to be in cadastral and engineering surveying. However, employers rated graduates“ learning ability highly in all competencies. Results also show that more education in competencies such as remote sensing, photogrammetry and Geospatial Information Systems and urban design is needed. However, further research in both areas is required to identify the relationship of the competencies to the surveying profession in New Zealand and then determine the education necessary. In addition, a need for more emphasis on practical surveying skills, structured vacation employment requirements, and more exposure to business related skills in the degree was identified.

Marcus BrownA stake in the shifting sands. Towards a unified approach to surveying areas experiencing gradual land movement.

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New Zealand's position astride the boundary between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates means that it is subject to tectonic forces and seismic activity. In addition, geological conditions and climatic factors give rise to a phenomenon termed gradual land creep, otherwise known as gradual landslides. In this situation, slopes are subject to downward movement up to the order of hundreds of millimetres each year. This movement is imperceptible to the eye, yet can significantly upset the cadastral system. Currently in New Zealand, no satisfactory legal solution to the problems posed by gradual land movement on the cadastre exists. In fact, there is conflict between case law, where pegs in the ground take priority over the title dimensions shown on the plan; and the concept of indefeasibility that the Land Transfer Act aims to offer. The result is that landowners cannot have confidence in the security of their title, and surveyors face confusion and risk when performing such surveys.

This research aims to address the problems involved with cadastral surveying in areas affected by ground creep by first identifying and articulating the specific problems, along with an analysis of the current approaches taken to surveying such areas. This investigation is supplemented by an analysis of a redefinition survey carried out in Moeraki, an area subject to significant and quantified surface movement. This is included as a case study to provide an insight into the specific problems faced by practicing surveyors, and to ground the research in a practical appreciation of the issues at stake. Finally, this research considers the future of the cadastre in areas experiencing gradual land movement; with a critical appraisal of what will be required to bring certainty to the cadastre in such areas. Along with this, comparisons are made with other forms of land deformation to determine what similar principles can be applied when arriving at a unified approach to surveying areas experiencing land creep.

Oliver SullivanThe subsistence of Haven St, Moeraki and the use of reflector-less total stations in road deformation modeling.

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Moeraki Peninsula, eighty kilometres north of Dunedin, is an area which has long been subject to heavy land subsidence. This subsidence has caused continued problems for the local residents and Waitaki District Council through damage to private property and local infrastructure. Geological surveys undertaken on the peninsula have identified the subsidence to be occurring due to a seam of erosive clay-rich marine sediment which traverses the peninsula and encompassing the township on the northern coast.

Since 2005 the Department of Surveying has been conducting a monitoring project to determine the extent and direction of this deformation. The results of this monitoring project have identified the area of most significant deformation to be within Millers Reserve on the northern coast with movement of up to 250mm/yr. Haven Street is the primary route into the township and traverses the steep hillside immediately above Millers Reserve. As a result it is subject to heavy subsidence and damage and is in need of regular remedial works.

The aim of this research has been to use a modern robotic total station to perform a “surface scan” of the Haven Street road surface as it traverses this area of vulnerability. The control marks used in the Survey Department's monitoring work, which have been deemed stable and free from deformation, were used to bring about control to the survey and act as stable reference points in coordinating roadside set up marks through static GPS (Global Positioning System) occupation. These roadside marks were then occupied with a robotic total station in order to scan the road. This process was then to be repeated on a subsequent field trip several months later so the two three-dimensional models of the road surface, created from the surface scan data, could be compared to determine the nature and extent of any deformation of the road occurring over this time.

Because of an extreme weather event three and a half weeks after the first trip, Haven Street experienced severe damage and slumping which forced its closure. An emergency field trip was undertaken using a standard total station from the Department to survey the road damage before remedial work was undertaken by the Waitaki District Council.

Comparison between the original road scan and the topographic survey of the second field trip has been used to graphically demonstrate the extent and nature of the slumping which occurred on the road. Single point deformation analysis of nails established on the road was able to quantify the extent and nature of the movement as a result of the rain event. The results and application of this technique are however limited by the accuracies achieved by the GPS control survey methods used.

Laura Burrow**Do spiral curves in underground mines affect the accuracy of the control network?

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Wall station traversing is an alternative to conventional underground traversing. Wall station traversing has many advantages over conventional underground traversing methods such as back station traversing or using wall brackets. These advantages include increased flexibility, less safety hazards and generally increased efficiency. Studies however have shown that wall station traversing is less accurate than traditional underground survey methods. These studies have been undertaken by only a very small number of people and lack some depth. Further study is needed to confirm their findings. No studies have been done into the effect of refraction on wall station traversing. Many studies have been done on how to mitigate the effects of refraction in tunnels which use wall brackets or back stations but these methods do not apply to wall station traverses. The effect of refraction around spiral curves is especially of interest as spiral curves cause geometry that is expected to maximise the effects of refraction causing lateral error.

This study compares expected accuracy of wall station traverses to the measured accuracy of a traverse before and after a spiral curve in an underground gold mine. A significant error was detected in the lateral direction. It was deduce that this error is most likely to be caused by refraction. For this reason it is recommended that gyrotheodolite baselines be observed after spiral curves in underground mines to ensure the accuracy of the azimuth of the control network.

Mark MyallA Way Forward for Antarctic Hydrography.

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Accurate, comprehensive, and reliable nautical charts are essential for the safe navigation of marine traffic. For remote, less trafficked regions of the earth such as Antarctica, many of the charts available were often made decades ago, and lack the reliability needed for safe navigation. Over the past two decades Antarctic tourism has grown from a few thousand visitors in the 1990s to over 46,000 in 2008. This increase in Antarctic tourism, the ongoing use of Antarctica for scientific research, and the lack of adequate nautical charts in the region have resulted in several recent maritime incidents, including six in the past three Antarctic seasons.

Whilst there has been some improvement in the coordination of hydrographic effort through the Hydrographic Commission on Antarctica, and an increase in charting effort by various nations, this has not kept pace with the corresponding increase in marine traffic.  It will take an inordinate amount of time to adequately survey areas of Antarctica due to the large geographical expanse, the lack of focus from participating nations, and the unique difficulties facing Antarctic hydrography. Suggestions have been made to improve the coordination and coverage of Antarctic bathymetry such as a tourist management system, amendments to international law, and a unified Antarctic survey team. These may mitigate the probability of future maritime incidents in the region and provide focus to prioritise surveying.

This research confirms the increasing level of Antarctic tourism and outlines the deficiencies of the current nautical charts for the region.

Derek ShanksPublic access and paper roads, Can Paper Roads Facilitate Improved Public Access?

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There is an increasing need to establish free and secure public access to the outdoors for recreation. Increasing amounts of legislation and social changes has seen many land owners withdraw informal access agreements. There is an abundance of paper roads in New Zealand and while some are currently used for outdoor recreation there is scope for this number to increase, making paper roads an ideal resource to provide increased and secure public access for recreation. The term paper road is a common term used to describe a parcel of land that is legal road, but where there is no physical formation. The law applicable to this parcel in terms of the use and governance is the same as for that of a formed road. Relevant reports, legislation and publications were sought then using this literature the legal nature of paper roads and the right of access they possess was examined. Then the physical capabilities of paper roads to provide access were investigated along with the potential and actual conflict between different outdoor activities. The fundamental requirements for public access to the outdoors were discussed along with the issues faced when providing public access on paper roads. Examples from the Otago Peninsula were related to the research undertaken. Paper roads have an underlying legal right allowing public access along them. This makes them ideal for providing public access as only the physical access needs to be established. While not all paper roads will be suitable for public access their abundance means only a small percentage need to have physical access tracks formed on them for public access to the outdoors to have improved and become more secure.

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