Our Environment development

An Online Atlas of our Land Resources

Launched in 2011, Our Environment is an interactive map viewer for New Zealand land-related environmental information.

New Zealand Landcover Explorer

This site allows you to explore and analyse New Zealand landcover change over five time periods - 1996/97, 2001/02, 2008/09, 2012/13 and 2018/19.


NZ landcover change thumb

Our Environment is an interactive, free service that provides you with information about New Zealand's natural environment.

It connects you with Manaaki Whenua's maps and data about land resources, land cover, landscapes, ecosystems, and habitats. It complements the sister site, S-Map Online, by providing useful context data for understanding soils.

With a thematic focus, it has been designed to be usable by the general user, although experts should also find it of value. Our Environment eliminates the need for desktop geographic information system software, or advanced technical expertise, by processing and presenting data for you.

Maps and reports are available on:

  • land use capability
  • land suitability
  • vegetation
  • surface geology
  • erosion
  • ecosystems such as forests, wetlands, grassland and protected land

Our Environment provides:

  • details about particular data themes and their provenance
  • supporting material to help you understand the meaning of particular environmental terms used in describing the information shown on the maps and in tables.

What can you do with Our Environment?

Using the NZ Land Atlas you can:

  • Use online, interactive maps to learn about your local environment and regional differences.
  • Select particular data themes to view as maps.
  • View detailed information from a particular data theme for a location and area.
  • Obtain further details about particular data themes (metadata).
  • Create high quality, custom PDF maps for printing.
  • Connect through to Manaaki Whenua's LRIS Portal to download the data you are viewing.

Using the NZ Landcover Explorer you can:

  • explore New Zealand's land cover and how it has changed over time (1996-2013), by exploring different versions of the NZ Landcover Database.