Meet Nic Donnelly


Geodetic Surveyor

Job description

I work for Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), which is the government agency responsible for New Zealand’s survey and land titles systems. Within LINZ, I work in the National Geodetic Office, which is responsible for providing the survey control system. This control system provides a framework for all of the accurate positioning carried out by surveyors and other spatial professionals in New Zealand. It consists of a large number of survey marks with accurate coordinates. You may have seen some of these on the tops of hills or beside the road, with a black and white triangular beacon on them. Recently I have been involved with measuring the land movements after the Canterbury earthquakes.

Work background

I started working for LINZ after graduating from university seven years ago. I received on-the-job training as well as opportunities to attend training courses and secondments with other organisations to learn more about geodetic surveying. 

Favourite parts of the job

  • analysing spatial data
  • making maps
  • having the opportunity to work in interesting places such as Fiordland and Antarctica
  • using new technology
  • the large amount of variety in my day-to-day work

Least favourite parts of the job

Some days I spend the whole day in front of a computer.


Bachelor of Surveying with Honours (BSurv(Hons)) and a Bachelor of Science (Physics major) from the University of Otago.

Interests outside of work

History and travel.

Watch the video where Nic talks about his work (6Mb mp4 file).