Vertical Datum

Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council adopted New Zealand Vertical Datum (NZVD 2016) effective from 1 July 2017. This new datum will bring consistency in the way land height is measured across the region, and with the New Zealand Standards.

Previously Tasman District Council recorded elevation information in the LINZ Nelson 1955 vertical datum and the Tarakohe 1982 vertical datum for Golden Bay. Nelson City Council recorded height or elevation information in its own Nelson City Council vertical datum.

Adopting the national standard for recording height information

NZVD 2016 is the official vertical datum for New Zealand and is maintained by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). It was adopted by Land Information New Zealand on 27 June 2016.

By adopting this national standard, both Council’s GIS services, works and infrastructure, planning and consents information will be compliant with the national norm. It will also assist with modelling for climate change and sea level rise.

The new datum will be easier to update and manage, and LINZ has conversion tools available to convert old to new datum.

What does this change mean for people using vertical datum?

  • From 1 July, Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council will cease using their respective datums in favour of NZVD2016.
  • All GIS data including LIDAR and Top of the South Maps will be converted to NZVD2016.
  • All height data will need to show which datum was used.
  • Height or elevation data will still need to be supplied to both Councils for engineering as-builts, building consents and resource consents.
  • Pre-2017 elevation data on as-builts, building consents and resource consents will remain unchanged.

Why is it changing?

  • To align the way Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council record elevation data.
  • To adopt best practice by using a national standard to record elevation data.
  • To display elevation data in a consistent datum on Top of the South Maps website.
  • To ensure both councils can readily contribute to national datasets such as sea level rise.
  • To simplify infrastructure planning between Councils.

When is it changing?

Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council adopted the New Zealand Vertical Datum 2016 from 1 July 2017. From this date:

  • All height data in engineering plans, as-builts, resource consents and building consents should to be supplied to Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council using the New Zealand Vertical Datum 2016.
  • All height data available from the Top of the South Maps website will be using the New Zealand Vertical Datum 2016

Transition Period

All Engineering and As Built Plans will be required to be submitted in terms of the NZVD 2016 after the 1st July 2017. A transition period will exist for six months to enable Engineering Plans that have been designed or substantially completed to be submitted in terms of the 1955 Datum. In this instance we would be expecting that the Datum used is prominently shown and that any As Built plans associated with these works would be in terms of NZVD 2016.

Related Links

  • The LINZ website provides further information including an online datum conversion service.