Monday, 24 January 2011

GIS Shapefile of DOC-administered land

The New Zealand Department of Conservation, fondly known as DOC is the department in charge of the bulk of New Zealand's publically owned land. Their best known pieces of real estate are the 14 national parks that conserve some of New Zealand's most iconic landscapes and least modified habitats. Less well known are the legion of scenic reserves and conservation areas that make up a substantial portion of our property. These smaller reserves are no less interesting, and tend to protect small but important areas of near-natural habitat, or intriguing aspects of New Zealand history. Until now, the main way of finding out about them is by stumbling across them while on a road trip, or by word-of-mouth. However, now DOC has released a GIS shapefile that shows the boundaries of all the conservation estate, along with information on what acts of parliament they're protected under and how large the reserve is.

It is important to note that this shapefile only shows those reserves in DOC's ownership and management. Thus, it does not show community-initiated reserves such as Maungatautari Ecological Island or QEII Covenants; nor does it show reserves owned by city councils, like the Auckland Regional Parks or Christchurch's Port Hills Reserves.

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