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RESIDENTIAL EXPANSION ONTO VERSATILE LANDimage

worsening trend    WORSENING TREND

 

Preliminary data indicate that the area of urban and rural residential use on versatile land in the Waikato region has been increasing since 2001.

This indicator is based on the area (ha, hectares) of versatile land (Land Use Capability classes 1-4) in urban and rural residential use in the Waikato region at four time steps (2001, 2008, 2012, and 2017). Urban residential area is defined to be land parcels of 0.00-0.50 ha in size with a dwelling whereas rural residential area is defined to be land parcels 0.51-2.00 ha in size with a dwelling.

Note that this indicator and the data presented are preliminary and yet to undergo peer review.

Why is this indicator important?

The expansion of urban and rural residential use generally results in a reduction in land available for primary production. The loss of land, particularly the most versatile land (i.e. Land Use Capability classes 1-4) available for primary production, may have various economic, environmental, and social impacts including:

  • A decrease in the primary productive capacity of the region’s economy due to less land suitable for productive uses being available.
  • Environmental impacts associated with primary productive land uses being displaced onto less versatile land where requirements for management inputs (e.g. fertilisers) and environmental risks (e.g. soil erosion on steeper land) are greater.
  • Higher costs of production and distribution, due to productive uses (e.g. vegetable production) displaced onto land further away from major population centres, leading to higher food or commodity prices.
  • Increased incidence of sensitivity to neighbouring rural land use activities (e.g. noise, odours, dust).

Monitoring residential expansion onto versatile land provides information for councils, land developers and communities about which areas in the region are experiencing increasing pressures through urbanisation or peri-urban growth. This can helps councils manage rates of residential expansion onto versatile land through policies and plans.

Residential expansion 2019

Year Urban residential area (ha) on versatile land Rural residential area (ha) on versatile land Total residential area (ha) on versatile land Total residential area (ha) on all land use classes
2001 4,058 4,555 8,613 17,423
2008 5,283 8,444 13,727 23,914
2012 5,650 9,563 15,213 25,816
2017 6,220 11,067 17,287 28,487

What is this indicator telling us? 

  • Residential expansion onto versatile land has been increasing over the four time steps noted above. Between 2001 and 2017, the area of total residential use on versatile land approximately doubled, with an average increase of 542 ha per year – an area equivalent to more than four average-sized (123 ha) dairy farms in the Waikato region.
  • Between 2001 and 2017, rural residential expansion accounted for most of the total residential expansion onto versatile land, with the rate of rural residential expansion (average increase of 407 ha per year) considerably greater than the rate of urban residential expansion (average increase of 135 ha per year).
  • Between 2001 and 2017, residential expansion onto versatile land accounted for the majority (more than 80%) of all residential expansion in the region and, more than half of this expansion was onto the most versatile land (Land Use Capability classes 1-2).
  • In decreasing order, residential expansion onto versatile land has occurred most rapidly in the Waikato district, Waipa district, Hamilton City, and Matamata-Piako district. Lower rates of change were observed for the Hauraki, Taupo, Thames-Coromandel, Otorohanga, South Waikato, and Waitomo districts.

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

 


DATA SOURCE AND SUPPORTING INFORMATION

 

Residential expansion onto versatile land refers to the change in area of versatile land in urban and rural residential use. Land Use Capability classes 1-4 define versatile land. Urban residential area is defined to be land parcels of 0.00-0.50 ha in size with a dwelling whereas rural residential area is defined to be land parcels 0.51-2.00 ha in size with a dwelling.

The analysis uses the Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) primary land parcel layers and electoral address point data associated with each of the four time steps examined (2001, 2008, 2012, and 2017). Electoral address points were used to indicate the presence of a dwelling. Land versatility was assessed using the NZ Land Use Capability (LUC) Classification (Lynn et al., 2009). The regional and territorial authority boundaries were obtained from Statistics New Zealand. Total change in area over the 16 year period (2001-2017) was averaged over the period to give an indication of average annual change.

Update details: It is anticipated that this indicator will be updated at least every five years.

Customised data request requirements: Contact Waikato Regional Council Spatial Analyst for residential expansion onto versatile land data.

REFERENCES

Lynn I.H., Manderson A.K., Page M.J., Harmsworth G.R., Eyles, G.O., Douglas G.B., Mackay, A.D., Newsome P.J.F., 2009. Land Use Capability Survey Handbook – a New Zealand handbook for the classification of land 3rd ed. Hamilton, AgResearch; Lincoln, Landcare Research; Lower Hutt, GNS Science. 163p.

DATA AVAILABILITY – OTHER THAN WAIKATO REGION:

Territorial Authority (TA) disaggregation: Yes

Other regions: No

New Zealand: No

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

 

 

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