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Mick Strack image

NZCLS BA (Geog) BSurv MSurv PGCertTertTeach PhD (Otago) MNZIS

Phone: +64 3 479 7603
Room: Surveying building, 1st floor, Room 114


Senior Lecturer and Kaiawhina

My practical surveying experience includes work in Australia, the UK, Egypt, and Nelson as a survey technician with a NZ Certificate of Land Surveying. In 1993 I arrived in Dunedin to complete a BSurv, and I got hooked on Dunedin and on the academic life. I obtained my MSurv in 1996 and came on board at the School teaching Land Law, Land Administration and Land Tenure. My teaching and research also includes a focus on Māori land issues, sustainable land use, and water, river and sea rights and boundary issues. My PhD thesis was completed in 2008 looking at Indigenous people's rights in rivers – a Ngai Tahu and Siksika (Canadian First Nation Band) comparison study. My interests include rowing, cycling, travelling, sailing, gardening and reading.


Research interests

Research group membership:

  • Research Cluster for Natural Resources Law
  • Centre for Research on Colonial Culture
  • Member of Steering Committee of Catchments Otago.

Mick is also a member of the Coastal People: Southern Skies collaboration that connects communities with world-leading, cross-discipline research to rebuild coastal ecosystems.
Coastal People: Southern Skies


  • Subsurface property, 3D cadastre
  • Boundaries and Coastal erosion in the face of climate change
  • Property and title to rivers, lakes and the sea
  • Property boundaries, other cadastral issues.


Masters (MSurv)

  • Nicola Trott - (co-supervisor with David Goodwin) - Te Awa Tupua Whanganui settlement legislation

Recent Honours dissertation (SURV490/590) students

  • Devon Allen - Restrictive covenants
  • James Berghan – (co-supervisor with David Goodwin) – Striking a Balance: cultural and productive uses of Māori land
  • Julian Thom - Subsurface rights in tunnels
  • Michael Lister - Property rights in informal occupation sites
  • Mitchell Holyoak - Protecting Outstanding Landscape

Professional Project (SURV470)

  • Julian Thom - Subsurface Rights in Tunnels.



Professional activities

Awards and achievements

  • Awarded the Fulton Medallion A-2 by the NZIS in recognition of a published paper of interest to the profession.


  • Member of Survey and Spatial New Zealand S+SNZS
  • Member of NZ Coastal Society - Organising Committee for 2016 NZCS Conference
  • NZIS Research Committee
  • NZIS Publications/ Editorial Board


Strack, M. (2020). The order is rapidly fadin': Responding to the impact of climate change on property with reference to the Aotearoa New Zealand context. Journal of Property, Planning & Environmental Law, 12(1), 19-34. doi: 10.1108/JPPEL-03-2019-0007

Strack, M. (2017). Land and rivers can own themselves. International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, 9(1), 4-17. doi: 10.1108/IJLBE-10-2016-0016

Strack, M., & Goodwin, D. (2018). More than a mere shadow? The colonial agenda of recent treaty settlements. Waikato Law Review, 25, 41-58.

Strack, M. (2018). Natural boundaries, legal definitions: Making room for rivers. In M. Strack, N. Wheen, B. Lovelock & A. Carr (Eds.), Riverscapes: Research essays on the social context of southern catchments of Aotearoa New Zealand. (pp. 65-80). Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago.

Strack, M. (2019). Reconfiguring land and property: What is a subdivision? New Zealand Surveyor, 305(August), 1-29.

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