Changes in land use within the Lakes A Zone

What is being monitored?
Anticipated Environmental Result:
  • Continuing viable rural enterprises in the Lakes A Zone.
  • To biennially survey land uses of the rural area to determine rural production and lifestyle use of land.
Purpose of monitoring

Land use affects the state and health of natural resources including soil, water and habitats. The Lakes A Zone makes a distinction between sensitive and less sensitive areas. In the less sensitive area the Lakes A Zone is more permissive for rural production. Rural production is monitored for two main reasons; to gauge whether the right balance is being struck between protection and production viability, and to track whether there are impacts on water quality, and on indigenous vegetation and habitat health.

Reports available
2012 Aerial photography analysis of indigenous vegetation and land use in the Lakes A Zone
Current trends

The above report analyses land cover as a basis to determine changes to land use. It describes changes observed between 2006 and 2011 from aerial photography. In summary there was little land use change in this time. Changes were mainly due to changes in categories, rather than ‘real’ change to land use. The changes to land use found were changes from:

  • ‘livestock farming’ to ‘indigenous vegetation on pastoral farm’,
  • ‘indigenous vegetation on pastoral farm’ to ‘protected indigenous vegetation’ (and vice versa),
  • ‘plantation forest’ and ‘livestock farming’ to ‘protected exotic land’, and
  • ‘livestock farming’ to ‘indigenous planting’.

Table 1 shows the extent of these changes.
(Note: analysis was done at a scale of 1:10,000.  Some changes may not be detectable at this scale).
Table 1: Changes in extent of land use cover between 2006 and 2011 in the lakes A Zone, Rotorua District.

An excerpt from the report says:

"Land use changes have largely been positive for biodiversity. Approximately 86.3 ha has been re-classified from the 2006 classifications of lifestyle property, housing, roading, livestock farming, recreation facilities, or plantation forest to indigenous vegetation in 2011. Analysis of land use changes between 2006 and 2011 identified (around)19.6 ha of indigenous vegetation (present in 2006) that has been reclassified, using the 2011 aerial photographs, to a reflect some element of human-induced modification (for example: lifestyle property, livestock farming, roading, plantation forest, or housing). Most changes have been the result of different legal protection of land (changes from unprotected to reserve or a covenant), inconsistencies when mapping at a scale of 1:10,000, small areas of successional development, restoration planting, better quality maps, or are due to (presumed) retirement of pastoral land, where the land use is now indigenous vegetation".

In summary:

  • There was no change in land use cover for most (87.2%) of the Lakes A Zone (30,291.3 ha).
  • Change to legal protection status affected 3,857 ha (11.1%).
  • About 60 ha (0.3%) changed from livestock farming to some form of indigenous vegetation. 


Page reviewed: 03 Jul 2019 10:12am