Congratulations to Danny Underwood, now Licensed Cadastral Surveyor!

Becoming a licensed cadastral surveyor is no easy feat. It requires obtaining a Bachelor of Surveying Degree, successfully completing practical surveying projects and, finally, passing the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors (NZIS) Professional Entrance exams.

One of our amazing team members has recently done just that! We are thrilled to congratulate Danny Underwood on passing his entrance exams in Wellington. As a result of this, Danny adds to our experienced team of Licensed Cadastral Surveyors.

At Stratum, we take career progression and professional development seriously.  It provides opportunities and room for our staff to grow and move up through the ranks of their chosen profession and also within the company management structure.  It also provides our clients with the knowledge that their projects are being managed by experienced and knowledgeable industry professionals to achieve the very best outcomes for them.

Danny is a great example of how our staff continue to grow in their respective roles.  Danny started with Stratum as a holiday student, before being permanently employed as a Survey Graduate straight out of University.  Over the last 3 years Danny has progressed from Survey Graduate through to becoming a Licensed Cadastral Surveyor. 

Danny looks forward to continue to assist our clients in his new role moving forward. 

Congratulations and well done Danny. 


Boom growth in the construction sector makes Tauranga a civil engineer’s dream.

With major projects spanning the commercial, retail, urban and greenfield development sectors coupled with the enviable lifestyle on offer in the country’s fastest growing region, Tauranga is proving to be the golden apple for civil engineers. With such fast-paced growth comes ample opportunity for those seeking to make the move to cash in on the excitement of working on projects of mighty scale along with an enviable lifestyle on their doorstep!

So just how big is this Bay of Plenty economic boom? In March alone building consents in Tauranga topped the $68 million mark.  The highest value for a single month.  Consents covered work on a range of major developments including the $130M Farmers city centre development, roading and warehousing and fit outs for the newly opened $150 million Tauranga Crossing Mall.

Tauranga is streets ahead of the rest of the country on business and employment growth.

Economic development agency Priority One’s chief executive Nigel Tutt says reports show  Tauranga’s business and employment growth are the highest in the country at 5.3 percent and 4.6 per cent respectively.  “We are also seeing strong business confidence reflected in employment growth in our existing businesses particularly in the professional services, construction, manufacturing and retail sectors."

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The Stratum team get a kick out of working on diverse projects at the heart of Tauranga’s construction boom

The ripple effect of such growth means growing pressure on the professional services sector.  Take Stratum Consultants for example, one of New Zealand’s most respected engineering, planning and surveying firms.  The team has doubled to 45 across their Tauranga, Rotorua and Te Puke offices in just 4 years and Director Andrew Robinson says they’re on the hunt for more civil engineers, urban designers, structural engineers and surveyors to continue that growth.

“We need 3 more civil engineers right now. We could take them on tomorrow and hand them a pile of diverse projects at the heart of the construction boom that’s transforming our region. It’s a really exciting place to be an engineer right now.”

For civil engineers across the country the opportunity to work here could be the career advancement they seek.  

Andrew says the Stratum Consultants environment is vibrant and diverse. “We have an interdisciplinary approach to the way we work.  It means our civil engineers get exposure to a range of disciplines and the opportunity to develop their own workloads and client base with really strong mentoring across the team.” 

The Bay of Plenty is the fourth-busiest region in the country in terms of jobs on offer, according to employment website, behind only Auckland, Waikato and Canterbury. Priority One receive about 35 enquiries a month for professionals wanting to relocate to the Bay of Plenty.  With Mount Maunganui just having been voted New Zealand’s best beach, investor confidence in the region at an all-time high and opportunities aplenty for the ultimate career/lifestyle choices it makes Tauranga an enviable option for smart professionals seeking career advancement. 

Drone Surveying Capabilities

Here at Stratum Consultants Ltd we are always looking for ways to use the latest in technological advances to improve the deliverables to our clients and contractors.

The latest surveying tool we are using is drone technology. The drone is an accurate and fast way to obtain data. In some cases, this can be faster and provide more detail than traditional survey methods.

Drone Set-Up

Drone Set-Up

The drone provides us with:

  • High resolution, up to date aerial photography

  • High resolution oblique images

  • High resolution video flyover

  • Digital terrain model (DTM)

  • Colourised point clouds

  • Surface contours

The main parts of our business that we use the drone for are:

  • Topographic surveys (down to centimetre accuracy, as required)

  • Volumes and/or earthworks

  • Site progression

  • Site photography

The drone is accurate, and can provide:

  • Centimetre accuracy

  • 1 point for every 3 centimetres

  • 10 million points in around 30 minutes

  • Overall, it can cover 100 hectares in around 30 minutes

We have also found there are many other positive features for undertaking a drone survey. 

This includes being:

  • Great for hard to access locations (e.g. buildings, roofs, swamp, water, cliffs/slips).

  • Safer in dangerous areas (e.g. machinery working, hazardous sites - electricity, chemicals).

  • Good for orthomosaic photos (e.g. relative, accurate, and measurable full site photos).

  • Great for capturing all required data in one survey.

3DPoint Cloud with Raw Photos Positions Over-layed

3DPoint Cloud with Raw Photos Positions Over-layed

We have been using the drone on many of our larger projects recently and will continue to use it more often moving forward.  The drone provides a more efficient use, and in many cases a safer working environment, for our staff, while also providing cost and time efficiencies for our valued clients.

For more detail on the use of drone survey technology for your project, then please contact one of our experienced Surveyors.

A brief Colourised Point Cloud video captured by our drone can be viewed below:

Pacific Lakes Village development, Papamoa

The Tauranga office of Stratum Consultants Ltd are proud to have been involved in many significant projects in Papamoa over the years.  We can now add another exciting project to that list!

Our staff have been involved with and provided professional services to the Pacific Lakes Village at 242 Grenada Street, Papamoa.  This retirement village development is a sister village to the highly acclaimed Pacific Coast Village, on Maranui Street, Papamoa.

We obtained resource consent to develop a retirement village containing 346 townhouses and 40 serviced apartments.  This included input from our highly capable and experienced Resource Management Planners, Civil Engineers, and Land Surveyors.  Ongoing works include civil engineering design and construction supervision and structural design and supervision for the new buildings. 

Stratum Consultants Ltd looks forward to continuing to work on this project and congratulate Pacific Lakes Village on this exciting high quality and socially, culturally and environmentally responsible development.

For more detail on this project please see the following the NZ Herald article link:


Can I Subdivide my Property?

This is a question that we are commonly asked.

There are a number of variables in providing an answer.  Here, at Stratum Consultants, we have a number of Planning and Surveying experts that can assist with navigating you through these variables to provide you with an answer that works.

The three main factors in determining whether you are able to subdivide your property are:

  1. The size and shape of your property,

  2. The zone that your property is in, and

  3. The subdivision rules of the Council’s District Plan.

What is a Subdivision? 

Subdivision is the process of dividing a single piece of land into multiple pieces of land.  It can come in many forms; from a boundary adjustment where you sell, purchase or swap land with a neighbour; infill residential subdivision, multi-lot residential subdivision, rural subdivision, and commercial/industrial subdivision.

Subdivisions can also vary in complexity, from a simple boundary adjustment or 2-lot subdivision just requiring a Surveyor and your lawyer, through to more complex and/or large multi-lot subdivisions that can require input from a wide range of professionals including planners, engineers, contractors, urban designers, environmental scientists, landscape architects, lawyers, valuers and cultural experts.  These factors will all have a bearing on the time taken and the cost to complete the subdivision process.

All subdivisions generally follow the same process. 

This process can briefly be described as follows:

  1. Feasibility to determine whether your property is able to be subdivided and an estimate of the costs/time-frame.

  2. Decide on the subdivision design and servicing requirements.

  3. Prepare and submit a subdivision application and scheme plan to Council.

  4. Obtain formal Council subdivision approval.

  5. Engage contractors to undertake physical works, if required (i.e. the installation of services, Right of Ways, roads, etc) and complete all conditions of consent.

  6. Undertake the Land Transfer Surveys of the new boundaries and easements, including the placement of boundary pegs and the preparation of formal Land Transfer Plans.

  7. Prepare and submit a Section 223 & 224 application to Council. This is the final Council sign off confirming that all of the conditions of consent have been met.

  8. Complete any legal work required by the subdivision.

  9. Lodgement of the Land Transfer Plan to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) for their issuing of the legal titles.

Although the subdivision process can be complicated and seem daunting, we specialise in making this process as easy and stress free as possible for you. 

To find out more on whether you are able to subdivide your property, please contact one of Stratum Consultants Planning or Surveying experts.

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Welcome Alan Woodger – Environmental Scientist

Stratum Consultants is excited to welcome Alan Woodger to the team. 

Alan is an experienced Environmental Scientist with local knowledge of the Bay of Plenty area. 

Alan’s skills broaden the services that we can now provide to our clients.  In addition to the Engineering, Planning and Surveying expertise we provide, we now offer expertise in Contaminated Land Management, including Preliminary and Detailed Site Investigations, Remedial Action Plans, Site Management, and Consent Monitoring.

His experience and technical expertise will be a valuable asset to Stratum’s growing multi-discipline consultancy. 

More information on this expertise can be found at:

Welcome to the team Alan!

Stratum's Newest Associates

Andrew, Colin, John, Bart and Stephen are pleased to announce three new Associates to Stratum Consultants Ltd. 

Elles Pearse-Danker from our Tauranga office, Matt Powdrell from our Te Puke office, and Craig Pollard from our Rotorua Office are all outstanding in their respective geotechnical engineering, surveying, and civil engineering fields. 

Their promotion reflects our determination to continue to provide great support to our clients and their projects across the wider Bay of Plenty region.

Well done and very well deserved!

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