Waikato Regional Council monitors changes in land use in the Waikato region using data from the Ministry for the Environment’s Land Cover Database (LCDB). Monitoring land cover over time provides information on changing land use.
We measure the area in different land use types for the entire Waikato region.
The Ministry for the Environment intends to update the LCDB every 5 years. Waikato Regional Council's monitoring of changes in land use is dependent on the release of the updated LCDB datasets by the Ministry for the Environment.
The LCDB 4 data used to derive this indicator update was primarily derived from SPOT 5 satellite imagery acquired between November 2011 and February 2013. More information is available from the dedicated Land Cover Database website(external link).
We use the:
We use geographic information system (GIS) tools to calculate the extent of land use types within the Waikato region, and by district council area.
This indicator re-categorises the LCDB 4 land cover classes in the table below into six major land use types in the Waikato region. The table below shows the categories of land use type derived from land cover class.
|LCDB4 Class||Land use type|
|Built-up Area (settlement)||Urban|
|Urban Parkland/Open Space||Urban|
|Surface Mine or Dump||Other|
|Sand or Gravel||Other|
|Permanent Snow and Ice||Other|
|Alpine Grass/Herbfield||Indigenous vegetation|
|Gravel or Rock||Other|
|Lake or Pond||Other|
|Estuarine Open Water||Other|
|Short-rotation Cropland||Horticultural and cropping|
|Orchard, Vineyard or Other Perennial Crop||Horticultural and cropping|
|High Producing Exotic Grassland||Pastoral farming|
|Low Producing Grassland||Pastoral farming|
|Tall Tussock Grassland||Indigenous vegetation|
|Depleted Grassland||Indigenous vegetation|
|Herbaceous Freshwater Vegetation||Indigenous vegetation|
|Herbaceous Saline Vegetation||Indigenous vegetation|
|Gorse and/or Broom||Other|
|Manuka and/or Kanuka||Indigenous vegetation|
|Broadleaved Indigenous Hardwoods||Indigenous vegetation|
|Sub Alpine Shrubland||Indigenous vegetation|
|Mixed Exotic Shrubland||Other|
|Matagouri or Grey Scrub||Indigenous vegetation|
|Forest - Harvested||Plantation forestry|
|Indigenous Forest||Indigenous vegetation|
|Exotic Forest||Plantation forestry|
Whereas the LCDB 1 database was released with classification accuracies validated to plus or minus 10 per cent, no classification accuracy has been established for the LCDB 2 dataset. The Landsat 7 satellite imagery used to create the dataset does however possess improved spectral and spatial resolutions compared to the SPOT satellite imagery used to create LCDB 1. It is therefore expected that LCDB 2 classification accuracy should equal or exceed that of LCDB 1 for comparable classes.
The LCDB gives a ‘snapshot’ of vegetation when the data were collected and should not be considered the definitive current vegetation cover.
The data was presented as percentage of each district council area in the region by major land use type. However, the data do not allow for a breakdown of land use type by activity, for example, separating pastoral farming into different types such as dairy farming or sheep and beef farming.
Note that Waitomo, Rotorua and Taupo districts all extend beyond the regional boundary. The analysis of this indicator is limited to the Waikato region. Therefore, Waikato Regional Council's information on this indicator may not represent the entire area of these three districts.
In future this indicator may potentially be expanded to further delineate different land use classes and enterprise types such as dairy, drystock and cropping..