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The Characterising Land Resources Portfolio is the go-to for New Zealand land resource information and knowledge. This research underpins decision making around improvements in land management, identification of new sustainable land use opportunities and enables monitoring of land use intensification trends and impacts.

The portfolio is responsible for the stewardship of data and infrastructure associated with our nationally significant land and soil databases. This includes acquisition of new data through field surveys, remote sensing technology and innovative data science modelling methods. Our science underpins land environment monitoring indicators and tools used in national, regional and industry reporting. Examples include monitoring of versatile land loss, ecosystem services, changes in land cover and land use, as well as supporting tools to model nutrient losses from land, hydrology and climate dynamics, and future land use scenarios.

Our role is to enhance the quality, accuracy, spatial coverage and accessibility of soil and land resource information for New Zealand. We do this via five key research priority areas, and a number of widely used websites that provide the public and industry with access to New Zealand land resource information and knowledge.

Research priorities

  • Soil characterisation
  • Land cover and land use
  • Uncertainty and land resource modelling
  • Ecosystem services
  • Data stewardship and delivery

Key initiatives - Soils Portal

Go to the Soils Portal


The ‘one-stop shop’ for information on New Zealand’s soil resources. The Soils Portal has an introduction to soils and their classification, access to all relevant soil data services, and an overview of our current soils projects and activities.

Visit the Soils Portal

Quick links to our websites and services

Key leaders