Environment - Area of land cover by region 1996–2018

Stats NZ


Land cover: it describes the extent of vegetation, water bodies, built environments, and bare natural surfaces (eg gravel and rock) across New Zealand

Data calculation/treatment

The exotic land cover indicator uses 10 detailed land cover classes in LCDB 5.0 grouped into the following four medium-level classes based on LAWA’s land cover classification hierarchy (see Factsheet: Land cover and why it is important):

exotic forest
exotic grassland
exotic scrub/shrubland.
The accuracy of change in area is typically plus or minus 10 percent for large changes and plus or minus 30 percent for small changes (Dymond et al., 2017)

Data provided by

Stats NZ

Dataset name

Environmental Reporting: New Zealand land cover database 2018



How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'Download' from the tab under Key Findings. Select "Download summary data"
Figure.NZ has modified this file for ease of processing.

Import & extraction details

File as imported: Environmental Reporting: New Zealand land cover database 2018

From the dataset Environmental Reporting: New Zealand land cover database 2018, this data was extracted:

  • Sheet: Pivot
  • Range: E6:E4148
  • Provided: 4,143 data points

Dataset originally released on:

April 15, 2021

Method of collection/Data provider

The data comes from the New Zealand Land Cover Database (LCDB), which is a national classification of land cover and land use mapped using satellite imagery. Version 5.0 covers mainland New Zealand and the nearshore islands but not the Chatham Islands.
The LCDB has five major versions (1–5), correlating to the five summer survey periods – 1996/97, 2001/02, 2008/09, 2012/13, and 2018/19. The land cover classification was developed over the first three versions. Classification changes can be tracked to allow comparison between versions.