Contemporary and pre-human wetland area in New Zealand

By wetland type, hectares


Wetlands: New Zealand’s freshwater wetlands include areas that are permanently or intermittently wet, shallow water, or margins of land and water that support a natural community of plants and animals adapted to living in wet conditions (Resource Management Act, 1991). Wetlands occur in many locations, ranging from estuaries to mountaintops.

Data provided by

Ministry for the Environment

Dataset name

Environmental Reporting: Estimated contemporary and pre-human wetland area 2008


How to find the data

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Import & extraction details

File as imported: Environmental Reporting: Estimated contemporary and pre-human wetland area 2008

From the dataset Environmental Reporting: Estimated contemporary and pre-human wetland area 2008, this data was extracted:

  • Rows: 2-15
  • Column: 3
  • Provided: 14 data points

This data forms the table Conservation - Estimated contemporary and pre-human wetland area 2008.

Dataset originally released on:

September 29, 2015

Method of collection/Data provider

The contemporary and estimated pre-human extent of wetlands were mapped at 1:50,000 to a minimum size of 0.5ha. Seven classes of wetlands were mapped according to their function. Wetlands were categorised as bog, fen, inland saline, marsh, pakihi/gumland, seepage, and swamp, based on Johnson and Gerbeaux (2004). Ephemeral wetlands, saltmarsh, and shallow water wetlands were not mapped.
The historic extent was estimated from the national Fundamental Soil Layers (FSL) database, and refined using a 15m digital elevation model derived from 20m digital contours. Geographic Information System (GIS) rules were used to identify wetland soils, based on soil survey descriptions that included drainage properties and the presence of peat and wetland vegetation. Soil drainage is divided into five classes in the FSL, from poorly drained (class 1) to well-drained soils (class 5). Soils in classes 1 to 3 were considered to have a high probability of having been wetland.
The contemporary extent was mapped using 26 Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) satellite imagery, and wetland point and polygon data. The data were collated from recent surveys, field work, or photo-interpretation held by local and central government. Point and polygon data were checked against the satellite imagery, and the wetland boundaries were corrected or delineated using the imagery (Ausseil et al, 2008).