News in 2013

Celebrating the Past – Redefining the Future

125th NZIS Conference, Dunedin, 28 – 31 August 2013

The annual New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (NZIS) Conference was held between 28th – 31st August 2013 in Dunedin, New Zealand and celebrated the 125th anniversary of NZIS as well as the 50th Anniversary of the University of Otago’s School of Surveying with the theme “Celebrating the Past - Redefining the Future”. The Conference that included a trade exhibition was held at St David Lecture Theatre Complex, University of Otago.

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University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Founded in 1869 by an ordinance of the Otago Provincial Council, is New Zealand's oldest university.

NZIS was founded in 1888 as a national body to preserve and develop the integrity and status of the profession of surveying in New Zealand. The Institute has 16 branches throughout New Zealand as well as one in Hong Kong, these being supported by a National Office in Wellington and guided by an elected president and councilors. The Annual General Meeting that was held during the Conference saw Jeffrey Alan Needham taking over the Presidency of the Institute from Andrew Stirling. During Andrew’s term as President, between 2011 and 2013, NZIS successfully submitted a bid to host the 2016 FIG Working Week in Christchurch, New Zealand and also recruited Hadyn Smith as its Chief Executive Officer.

Jeff Needham joined NZIS in 1994 and is recognized as someone who is passionate about the profession and sees opportunities for surveyors as advocates for the land, for the people and for the future of New Zealand. Jeff lives in Wellington with his wife Carleen and sees the next two years as an opportunity to broaden NZIS to encompass all professionals working with land information and measurement science and promote the highest ideals of the profession for the benefit of the members and New Zealand society.

During the Conference, two books were launch. “100 Fathoms Square: the Surveying of Tonga” by Bruce Alexander and Larry Wordsworth and “Survey Marks”. “Survey Marks” in particular is a celebration of 50 years of the School of Surveying at the University of Otago as well as 125 years of the NZIS. The book was edited by Dr. Mick Strack and comprised essays, photos, art and poetry contributed by surveyors. The book included recollections of early surveying education at the University of Otago.

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Fellows of NZIS that attended the NZIS Reunion and Fellows dinner function held during the 125th Conference.

Three new fellows were inducted into the Institution. Within NZIS, a Fellow is a NZIS Member who has provided eminent service to the profession and been elected by the membership of the NZIS to the class of Fellow. Election as a fellow is a sign of respect signifying their valuable contribution to the Institute, the Profession and the public.

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President Andrew Stirling (right) with former Treasurer and Minister of Finance of New Zealand
and newly elected NZIS Fellow, Sir William Francis Birch.

The New Zealand Minister of Land Information, the Hon Maurice Williamson officiated the 125th NZIS Conference and spoke after the FIG President on the opening day. The Minister has been the Member of Parliament for Pakuranga since 1987. He is currently the Minister for Building & Construction, Minister for Customs, Minister for Statistics as well as the Minister for Land Information. It was observed that the Minister, NZIS and New Zealand can be in a good position when the global geospatial information community discusses linking geospatial information to statistics and other data, thereby unlocking the wealth of existing knowledge about social, economic and environmental matters, that can play a vital role in understanding and addressing the many challenges that we face in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

Prior to arriving into Dunedin, FIG President spent a full working day in Christchurch, New Zealand together with Hadyn Smith, NZIS Chief Executive Officer, Simon Ironside, FIG 2016 Working Week Convenor and Scott Williams, the Chair of NZIS Canterbury Branch. Together, they visited the venue for FIG’s 2016 Working Week, the CBS Canterbury Arena and Addington Raceway and Events Centre, considered the challenges and opportunities these facilities presents before having general discussions about the 2016 Working Week including the proposed timing, that will remain in May 2016.

CheeHai TEO
September 2013

10 October 2013