The datasets listed below provide land use areas, production costs from dairy, sheep and beef farming and forestry, and spatially varying estimates of nitrous oxide emissions.
The datasets have differing scales ranging from national level to a 1 ha grid depending on the raw data available. Many of the datasets cover the period from the mid 1970s to current; others are currently only available for one year.
Motu completed land-use simulations for the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment in November 2013 using the Land Use in Rural New Zealand (LURNZ) model. The original model results were based on an initial land-use map of 2008. Since the completion of the report, a new version of the Land Cover Data Base with information for 2012 has been released, providing an opportunity to assess how some of the simulation results compare to actual land-use change patterns (at the regional scale).
Datasets that have been created by Motu are available to download below with complete documentation. Links are provided to the sources of other data that we have used for this project.
For more information on any of the datasets used in the model, please contact us.
Land use areas
National rural land use area and commodity price dataset
This is a dataset collected by Motu of land-use area and commodity price variables for four rural land-uses over time. These land-uses are dairy farming, sheep/beef farming, plantation forestry, and reversion to native scrub. The dataset includes national areas and representative commodity prices for dairy products, sheep/beef products, and plantation forestry products. Interest rate variables are also included in this dataset. The data are annual, spanning 1974-2002. (Note: the current dataset for download only includes land-use areas).
National data calibrated to LCDB1
National data calibrated to LCDB2
The collection of this data has been funded by the Foundation for Research Science and Technology, as part of Motu’s Land Use, Climate Change and Kyoto: Human Dimensions Research to Guide NZ Policy, in collaboration with Landcare Research (and others). Much of this dataset would not have been able to be compiled without the very generous help of numerous people from many agencies. Thanks go to our research partner, Landcare Research, and the following organisations who have provided us with data: Department of Conservation, Meat and Wool New Zealand - Economic Service, the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and Statistics New Zealand.
TA level Rural Land Use Areas
This is a dataset collected by Motu of land-use area for four rural land-uses over time. These land-uses are dairy farming, sheep/beef farming, other pastoral farming, plantation forestry, and regenerating indigenous forest and scrub. The data are annual, spanning 1981-2004, and include 69 TAs.
Dataset: Rural Land Use Areas (under development)
Thanks go to the following organisations who have provided us with advice and data to create the rural land use areas dataset: Statistics New Zealand, Meat and Wool New Zealand: Economic Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Landcare Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Research Associates Ltd and Department of Conservation.
National Exotic Forestry Description The National Exotic Forestry Description is complied primarily from an annual postal census of forest owners and managers of large planted production forests by MAF. It describes area, age-class and management information for planted production forest as at 1 April.
For more information see Ministry of Primary Industry’s website.
Land Cover Database 2 (LCDB2)
The Land Cover Database 2 (LCDB2) is a Geographic Information Systems map classifying 42 land cover and land use classes for mainland New Zealand, the Chatham Islands and near-shore islands for the summer of 2001/2002. The land cover classes were mapped down to a 1ha area.
The Department of Conservation land register is a GIS database of conservation land covering New Zealand’s mainland and offshore islands. The register is not time-stamped and is updated as conservation land changes.
Information on dairy production costs are available from the MAF Farm Monitoring Surveys annually for up to 8 regions across the country. Motu has collected this data and complied in within a single dataset for 1984 to 2005.
Dataset: Raw Dairy Production Costs (Under development)
However, since the regions used in the MAF Farm Monitoring Surveys are not consistent over time, Motu created an additional dataset for the same period with constant regions over the data series, by weighting regions by animal numbers.
Dataset: Consistent Dairy Production Costs (Under development)
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and Statistics New Zealand provided us with advice and data.
Sheep and Beef Production Costs Map
Motu has mapped information available from the Meat and Wool New Zealand: Economic Service Sheep and Beef Farm Surveys across the country based on the Meat and Wool New Zealand farm classes. By applying production costs (or potentially any additional information) from the Farm Surveys to this map, it is possible to spatially allocate production costs.
Map: Economic Service Farm Class Map
Meat and Wool New Zealand: Economic Service, Landcare Research, and Quotable Value New Zealand provided us with advice and data enabling the creation of this map.
Forestry Production Costs
A dataset of 2001 forestry production costs for each cell in the 25ha LURNZ grid is currently being developed based on land slope and distance to major forestry ports. This will be added to the website once it is completed.
This dataset is being produced in close collaboration with Isabel Loza Balbuena.
Agricultural Production Surveys
Statistics New Zealand has conducted censuses of agricultural production in 1974-1987, 1994 and 2002 and sample surveys in 1988, 1989, 1991-1993 and 1995-1996. These surveys provide information on rural production and land use including livestock numbers and fertiliser use for dairy, beef cattle and sheep and areas of pasture, plantation and other rural land uses down to a Territorial Authority level.
Meat and Wool New Zealand: Economic Service Farm Surveys
Meat and Wool New Zealand: Economic Service has been carrying out annual sheep and beef surveys since around 1950. These include information on physical production, financial returns and capital structure based on a random sample of about 550 farms. By using the map of Meat and Wool New Zealand farm class map created by Motu (see above), the information contained in the farm surveys can be mapped spatially.
Several different New Zealand economic models produce measures of rural economic activity that have greenhouse gas implications. For climate change analysis, models need to translate economic activity into greenhouse gas emissions. This document contains the tables from the working paper “Land use Intensity and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the LURNZ Model” where we estimate functions that can be used to create projections for land-use related greenhouse gas emissions per unit of economic activity.
These functions are designed to be simple to use; are based on readily available data and strong science; are consistent with the national inventory in 2002; evolve so that implied net emissions approximately match past inventory totals (1990-2002); and can be linked easily to a variety of models so they can be used in simulations. We estimate dynamic greenhouse gas emission functions for five land uses: dairy, sheep, beef, plantation forestry, and indigenous forests, and for three greenhouse gases: methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. We use an approach based on the consensus reached at the November 2004 ‘Land Use, Climate Change and Kyoto: Human Dimensions Research’ project research workshop. These functions will allow different researchers who are studying activity levels in the rural sector, to draw on a consistent set of emission functions when considering the greenhouse gas implications of their model results.
UPDATE: We would like to thank participants at the November 2004 “Land Use, Climate Change and Kyoto: Human Dimensions Research” project research workshop who contributed to designing this approach but are in no way responsible for any omissions or errors. Participants included Cecile deKlein and Harry Clark from Agresearch, Len Brown from the Climate Change Office, Barbara Hock and Steve Wakelin from Forest Research, Peter Kouwenhoven from the International Global Change Institute at Waikato University, Adrian Walcroft, Craig Trotter, Garth Harmsworth, Kevin Tate, Roger Parfitt, Surinder Saggar, and Troy Baisden, from Landcare Research, David Lillis and Rod Forbes from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Keith Lassey from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, and Mark Aspin from the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium. Also, thanks to Rod Forbes and Len Brown for providing data. This paper is funded as part of Motu’s ‘Land Use, Climate Change and Kyoto: Human Dimensions Research to Guide NZ Policy’ programme, which has core funding from the Foundation for Research Science and Technology.
Spatial Nitrous Oxide Emissions
This map gives estimates of nitrous oxide emissions for each cell in the 25 ha LURNZ grid covering the country. The estimates are based on rainfall and drainage levels.
Map: Nitrous oxide Emissions Map
Landcare Research, and Andrew Carran from AgResearch provided us with advice and data regarding the nitrous oxide map.
Land Use Capability Index
Landcare Research has developed a GIS database that classifies land based on its limitations for productive use measured by climate and geology. This gives us an indication of the land uses that land is able to support in the long term.