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#304 Summary – Breaches of Section 12 & 13 of the Surveying& Spatial Information Act 2002

This matter involved an official complaint from a member of the public against a registered land surveyor (RLS). The Board’s investigation identified that the RLS had incorrectly reestablished and marked the eastern boundary of the complainant’s property. The resultant boundary location as determined by the RLS skewed over 6 metres from the correct boundary.

Separately, a plan of redefinition was registered on the adjoining property confirming the newly erected fence substantially encroached onto the adjoining property requiring the complainant to have it re-fenced to the correct boundary location. Additionally, some 250 trees planted prior to the amended boundary location were now also situated on the adjoining property and needed to be moved to be wholly within the Complainant’s property.

The Board investigation determined that:

  • The RLS displayed a lack of knowledge and skills required to accurately determine the boundary.
  • The RLS failed to adhere to the applicable standard of care.
  • The RLS displayed a standard of competence well below the expectations of the board and these actions of the RLS have reduced, or are likely to reduce, public confidence in Registered Surveyors. This is especially relevant given the issue with the discrepancy between location of the common boundary and the fencing.
  • It is apparent to the Board that the lack of professional judgement and supervision of staff in the boundary determination is quite serious and profound.

BOSSI determined there was no evidence of any malicious and/or deliberate intent to deceive either the landowner of the property, or any other person by the RLS.

As a result of the investigation the Board determined the surveyor was guilty of professional incompetence and professional misconduct with the following disciplinary action put in place:

  • Under Section 12(1)(a) and Section 13(1)(b) of the Act, the RLS was required to attend a disciplinary meeting with the President of the Board, in the presence of one other Board member.
  • Under Section 13(1)(d) of the of the Act, the RLS must pay compensation of $10,000 to the complainant.
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