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1981 – 2021: Celebrating 40 years of creating legacies with land

Celebrating 40 years of creating legacies with land

2021 is a special year that marks four decades in business. It’s a 40-year story that has its roots in the single-minded passion for land development of our founder, David Fox. This ethos runs through the company to this day.

Surveying has always been more than a profession for David since he qualified as a surveyor in 1964. David’s skills were honed and tested by his eight years in Borneo working for either British Foreign Aid or the NZ Government. During the 60s and 70s, his sense of adventure saw him either mapping remote mountains and rivers in Sarawak or directing large staff numbers on a variety of surveying, planning, and development control

Life in Borneo was always testing, always fascinating. The highlight of David’s time in Borneo was undoubtedly the aerial mapping and surveying of the last 1000 sq. mile area on the remote Sarawak-Indonesian border over a 2-year period. Jungle trips for up to 3 weeks at a time, up rivers and rapids, long jungle climbs, sleeping in Iban longhouses, or camping in the jungle with plenty of rice.

Creating Legacies - David

He eventually returned to Christchurch, swapping rainforest, tropical rain, and bloodthirsty leeches and mosquitos for hillside developments. Early projects included Rue Renard in Akaroa, Kennedys Bush, Longhurst Terrace, Cashmere Heights, and the award-winning 35ha Broad Oaks residential subdivision. These early projects established our reputation as hillside specialists.

It has always been important to us to have a stylishly productive and welcoming office environment for both staff and clients. Our first office was based on the executive floor of the Ramada Hotel. A few years later, we moved to the heady heights of the Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) building until the Christchurch earthquakes munted the city. After a few years in limbo as the rebuild swung into gear, we found our new home at 195 Peterborough Street which is where we are today.

Creating legacies with land has always been central to our story. It’s our deep belief that each land development project presents new and unique opportunities to craft engaging liveable spaces. By thinking differently and achieving a design tailored to each development, each site, we’ve helped clients achieve something unique with their land.


None of this would have happened without our amazing former and current staff. It’s been a privilege to see them achieve great success in their professional lives. Fox would not be where it is today without our commitment to adding new generations to the team. Back 40 years ago, our initial team was David Fox and Bill Lawson. In 1993, a fresh-faced Michael Martin joined Fox followed two years later by Carl Fox. Both have gone on to exemplary careers and service to their profession. Craig McInnes joined us in 2011 and along with the rest of our current team, they have helped shape Fox and Associates into the surveying company it is today.

Our services have evolved over the years. Rural land services became a natural progression alongside our core: land development, urban design, planning, surveying, and engineering services. Projects have included farm subdivisions, farm park developments, high country tenure reviews, farm estate planning projects, and the establishment of covenants to protect native bush, indigenous ecosystems, and significant landscape features. To this end, we are proud sponsors of the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, a sponsorship that reinforces our commitment to both Banks Peninsula and the Trust’s ecological vision.


Innovation is a big part of the story of our services. In 2015, we purchased our first UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle or drone) and by 2017, we were one of the first companies to obtain Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) highest level of certification PART 102 Certification. As leaders in UAV surveying services, we’ve continued to change the face of professional surveying through new technologies including UAV LiDAR, USV (unmanned surface vehicle) surveying, and 3D laser scanning. From air and land to water, our spatial surveying expertise covers the full spectrum.

Of course, all this is possible because of our clients. The breadth of projects has been amazing; from Lake Hood to the gorilla enclosure at Orana Park, and Redmund Spur to developing industry-leading, algorithm-based solutions for precision farming. We’ve always prided ourselves on our ability to develop close relationships with clients and are committed to delivering customised solutions that will turn their land into their legacy.

During the rest of 2021, we’ll continue to look back at our journey and look forward to sharing stories about our sponsorships, team, projects, clients, technology, and innovations.

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