Lengths and Areas

Below are some standard conversion factors for surveying lengths used in NZ and shown on Survey plan both when imperial and metric measurements were used. Our Surveyors in Auckland and Hamilton are more than help you with understanding these.


Is an imperial measure of area and is equal to 0.404686 hectares or 4047 square metres.


1 chain = 100 links or 20.1168 metres. This was the traditional width of a standard road in New Zealand.


Is a metric measure of area and is equal to 10,000m2 or 2.4711 acres.


The standard unit of measurement for surveying in NZ prior to 1972 with 100 links being equal to 1 chain. 1 link is equivalent to 0.201168 metres and 1 chain being equivalent to 20.1168 metres. (1 chain being the standard road width in New Zealand)


A metric unit of length equivalent to 1000 millimetres and is equivalent to 39.37 inches, or 1 foot 3.4 inches

Angular measurements

On survey plans, North is almost always pointing to the Top of the page and is 0 or 360 degrees. Angles are then measured clockwise from North, so 90 degrees is East, 180 degrees is South, and 270 degrees is West. So a line on a Survey plan which is shown as 143 30 00 is 143 degrees, 30 minutes, 00 seconds East of North or very roughly about South East. However bear in mind that this line could also be shown as a mirror image rotated 180 degrees and be described as 323 30 00