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  Community » Waikato Progress Indicators - Tupuranga Waikato » Report cards » Soil quality

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SOIL QUALITYsoil quality image

no significant change    NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE


The percentage of monitoring sites in the Waikato region with high soil quality fell between 2008 and 2013 but subsequently improved.

This indicator is the estimated percentage of soil quality monitoring sites in the Waikato region meeting five or more of the seven soil quality targets.

Why is this indicator important?

Measuring soil quality for four main land use types in the Waikato region helps councils assess whether they are suited to the activities they support. These activities include dairy farming, drystock farming (sheep, beef, deer etc.), horticulture and cropping, and plantation forestry. Good quality soils are those whose key characteristics are in good condition for their current land use.

Monitoring these sites helps councils to identify and manage issues so they can protect or improve soil quality in these areas through their policies and plans, regulation and education. This includes working directly with people involved in activities or industries that can have a significant impact on the land, to ensure our region’s soils remain viable now and in the future.

Soil quality

Bar graph showing soil quality in the Waikato region

Note: percentages are corrected for productive land area. 

Year  Per cent of monitoring sites meatting five or more soil quality targets
2003 85
2004 84
2005 84
2006 84
2007 86
2008 86
2009 80
2010 84
2011 82
2012 82
2013 79
2014 79
2015 79
2016 84
2017 86

What is this indicator telling us? 

  • Between 2003 and 2016, the percentage of soil quality monitoring sites in the Waikato region which met five or more soil quality targets decreased from 85% to 79%, but then improved to 86% in 2017.

Check out related information on our website and other organisations’ websites listed on our Waikato Progress Indicators’ Useful Links page.


Click here to view report cards



Waikato Regional Council monitors soil quality sites throughout the region against seven targets agreed by the National Land Monitoring Forum: total carbon (organic matter), total nitrogen (N), mineralised N, soil pH (acidity/alkalinity), phosphorous (P), soil density and macroporosity (a measure of the ability for air to penetrate the soil).

Data for this indicator to 2017 were provided by Waikato Regional Council, consistent with Taylor, M., Cox, N., Littler, R. and Drewry, J. (2017) 'Trends in soil quality monitoring data in the Waikato region 1995-2015', Waikato Regional Council Technical Report 2017/26. Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton.

Comparisons with New Zealand and other regions are expected to be available in future via the WaikWaikato Regional Council Soil Scientist.

Update details: Annual data to 2017 was sourced in May 2018. Data for 2018 are expected to be available in March 2019.

Customised data request requirements: Contact is Waikato Regional Council for the estimated percentage of total productive land in the Waikato region meeting five or more soil quality targets and related secondary indicators.


Territorial Authority (TA) disaggregation: No

Other regions: No

New Zealand: No

Other countries/ Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):  No

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