About This Site

About the Land Resources Portal

In September 2022 the National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) was released, which targets the safeguarding of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most favourable soils for food and fibre production. It requires regional councils to map and zone highly productive land.

The definition of highly productive land, and the initial mapping of HPL is closely coupled to classes 1, 2 and 3 of the New Zealand Land Use Capability Classification System (LUCCS). Starting in the 1960’s the New Zealand Land Resource Inventory (NZLRI) was mapped at a scale of 1:63,360 and was completed for the entire country. Every NZLRI unit was assigned a LUC code assessing the parcel’s capacity for sustained productive use, physical limitations, and management requirements for soil conservation. When completed in the 1980’s it was the most detailed digital national resource survey internationally.

Despite its age and the lack of investment in updating, the NZLRI is still operational as a nationally Significant Database and the basis for much of rural planning in Aotearoa New Zealand. Considering organisational changes over time, and the fact that most supporting materials were archived in hard copy form, it can be challenging at times to trace all reports and ancillary information available for a particular area.

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and predecessor organisations have played a substantial part in land resource mapping over time and as the custodians of the NZLRI have responded to the increase in attention due to the NPS-HPL's reliance on NZLRI data by creating a new web service for the community of LUC practitioners. Following a stock-take of LUC related materials and the digitisation of relevant items, the ‘Land Resources Portal’ has been established for convenient information access and download.

The new service provides more than LUC bulletins and Extended Legends. A ‘Topics’ section covers a growing number of explanatory texts on aspects of LUC surveys, governance, and history. A ‘Tools’ section provides quick access to where the NZLRI dataset is already available for online browsing and download, as well as other relevant land and soils data services that Manaaki Whenua has on offer.

While the Land Resources Portal has launched with essential content, it has been designed to evolve over time. More content will be co-created with members of the LUCCS Governance Group which meets twice per year to discuss priorities and standards around LUC work.

Do you like what we do?

Or do you have any suggestions on how we could make the Land Resources Portal better?
Then talk to our team, we're always happy to have a chat!