Skip to main content

Land use

Cows grazing near pine forest

Why we monitor land use

The Waikato region contains some of the most productive land in New Zealand and the world. The landscape and soils vary in versatility and production capacity. Different types of land use affect our soil resources differently.  

We monitor land use change to get information on where development pressures are likely to be greatest, and to help us identify policy responses to avoid or remedy damage to our soil and water resources.

What's happening?

The main land use types in the Waikato region are:

  • pastoral farming (53 per cent)
  • indigenous vegetation (27 per cent)
  • plantation forestry (13 per cent)
  • urban areas (1 per cent)
  • horticulture and cropping (less than 1 per cent).

>>Find out more about these data and trends

    More information

    More detail on this indicator, including how and where Waikato Regional Council collects this information, is available in the Technical Information page.

    Useful links

    When this indicator is updated

    Because the time scale at which land use changes occur it is unlikely that changes will be monitored any more frequently than 5-yearly. Therefore, the updating of this indicator is also dependent on production of an updated LCDB dataset.

    Contact at Waikato Regional Council

    Soil Scientist – Science and Strategy Directorate

    Quality control procedures

    For information on data quality (lineage, positional accuracy, attribute accuracy, logical consistency and completeness) see the updated metadata for the LCDB available from the dedicated Land Cover Database (metadata).


    1. The LCDB 4 data set is a “public good” data set owned by the Ministry for the Environment and supplied Creative Commons V4 licensing.

    2. New Zealand Land Cover Database User Guide.