This data set reports on trends for 15 coastal and estuarine water quality measures, grouped below by type, monitored at sites across Aotearoa New Zealand between 2006 and 2020:

  • nutrient – ammoniacal nitrogen, nitrate-nitrite nitrogen, total nitrogen (unfiltered), dissolved reactive phosphorus, and total phosphorus (unfiltered)
  • microbiological – faecal coliforms, Enterococci, and chlorophyll-a
  • optical – visual clarity, turbidity, and suspended solids (inorganic and organic)
  • physico-chemical – dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, and temperature.

We present trends for the period 2011 to 2020.

Coastal and estuarine ecosystems are affected by changes in water quality.

Nutrients
The two main nutrients of concern in coastal and estuarine ecosystems are nitrogen and, to a lesser degree, phosphorus. An overload of nutrients (eutrophication) can lead to algal blooms that can kill marine life by depleting oxygen levels. Some bloom-forming algal species also contain toxins that can harm marine life, and can pass through food chains to humans (for example, via shellfish poisoning).

Microbiological
Abundant Enterococci _and faecal coliform bacteria indicate the possible presence of human faecal pathogens in coastal waters and represent the risk of infectious disease. Chlorophyll-_a is a measure of phytoplankton biomass and is a primary indicator of eutrophication.

Optical
High suspended sediment concentrations are associated with estuarine and coastal sedimentation, reduced light levels in benthic (seabed) environments, and reduced feeding rates and health of estuarine and coastal animals (Lowe et al., 2015). Visual clarity and turbidity are monitored because light affects primary production, plant and animal distributions and ecological health, aesthetic quality, and recreational values (Davies-Colley et al., 2003).

Physico-chemical
Dissolved oxygen is fundamental to supporting marine life. Low levels of dissolved oxygen can have adverse effects on aquatic fauna, from reduced growth rates to death from lack of oxygen (Tomasetti & Gobler, 2020). Decreased pH results from the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere by seawater but can also reflect local processes caused by eutrophication (Cai et al., 2011; Fraser et al., 2021). Changes in the pH of seawater can have harmful effects on marine life, impacting chemical communication, reproduction, and growth. The building of skeletons in marine organisms is particularly sensitive to acidity, so acidification (lower pH) of sea waters can be harmful for organisms such as shellfish and corals (Fabry et al., 2008). Salinity provides information on the freshwater content of coastal waters. Water temperature is important as it controls biochemical processes and affects the balance of parameters such as dissolved oxygen levels. As a result, seawater temperature determines distributions of many marine plants and animals (Kleisner et al., 2017).

Adapted by Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand to provide for environmental reporting transparency. Dataset used to develop the "Coastal and estuarine water quality, trends" indicator (available at ++Coastal and estuarine water quality | Stats NZ++).

Layer ID 111131
Data type Vector point
Feature count 3024
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

River Environment Classification Watershed Auckland (2010) (DEPRECATED)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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14374
116
Added
23 Dec 2013

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 23 Dec 2013.

The New Zealand River Environment Classification (REC) organises information about the physical characteristics of New Zealand's rivers. Individual river sections are mapped according to physical factors such as climate, source of flow for the river water, topography, and geology, and catchment land cover eg, forest, pasture or urban. Sections of river that have similar ecological characteristics can then be grouped together, no matter where they are.

This information is mapped for New Zealand's entire river network - over 425,000 kilometres of river. Different types of rivers respond differently to the pressures placed on them - the REC can be used to highlight the most appropriate management tools and approaches to reduce these pressures for each river type. Information from the classification is used to develop policy, assess the environment, and report on the quality of river water.

Stream order is the numerical position of a tributary or section of a river within the entire network. Headwater streams are assigned a stream order of 1. When two tributaries of the same stream order meet, the order increments by one for the next section downstream. However, if two sections meet where one section has higher order than the other, the next section downstream has the same order as the highest upstream section.

The User Guide is available from data.mfe.govt.nz/document/123-rec-user-guide-2010/ . Additional metadata can be found at www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/ser/metadata/env-clas... .

Layer ID 51809
Data type Vector polygon
Feature count 10856
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

River Environment Classification Auckland (2010) (DEPRECATED)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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You must attribute the creator in your own works.

12032
174
Added
23 Dec 2013

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 23 Dec 2013.

The New Zealand River Environment Classification (REC) organises information about the physical characteristics of New Zealand's rivers. Individual river sections are mapped according to physical factors such as climate, source of flow for the river water, topography, and geology, and catchment land cover eg, forest, pasture or urban. Sections of river that have similar ecological characteristics can then be grouped together, no matter where they are.

This information is mapped for New Zealand's entire river network - over 425,000 kilometres of river. Different types of rivers respond differently to the pressures placed on them - the REC can be used to highlight the most appropriate management tools and approaches to reduce these pressures for each river type. Information from the classification is used to develop policy, assess the environment, and report on the quality of river water.

Stream order is the numerical position of a tributary or section of a river within the entire network. Headwater streams are assigned a stream order of 1. When two tributaries of the same stream order meet, the order increments by one for the next section downstream. However, if two sections meet where one section has higher order than the other, the next section downstream has the same order as the highest upstream section.

Additional metadata can be found at www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/ser/metadata/env-clas... .

Layer ID 51804
Data type Vector linestring
Feature count 9620
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Lightning recorders

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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18262
56
Added
18 Feb 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 18 Feb 2016.

Lightning is the discharge of electricity from thunderstorms. Ground strikes can cause significant damage to property and infrastructure, and injure or kill people and livestock. Lightning is often associated with other severe weather events, such as strong wind gusts. Thunderstorms may increase in frequency and intensity with climate change.

This dataset shows the location of sensors in the New Zealand Lightning Detection Network (NZLDN), run by MetService.

Sensors around the country detect lightning over the New Zealand land mass and a short distance out to sea. These sensors detect very accurately the electrical discharge, location, and time, as well as noting other parameters such as current strength. The NZLDN records both cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground strikes.

Layer ID 53312
Data type Vector point
Feature count 10
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

DoC marine mammal sanctuaries

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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10631
90
Added
11 Jan 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 11 Jan 2016.

The location and extent of Marine mammal sanctuaries in the territorial sea and the exclusive economic zone.

Layer ID 52759
Data type Vector multipolygon
Feature count 9
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Type2 Marine Protected Areas

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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10980
96
Added
11 Jan 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 11 Jan 2016.

The location and extent of Type 2 marine protected areas in the territorial sea.

Layer ID 52762
Data type Vector multipolygon
Feature count 40
DimensionsZ values
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

DoC marine mammal sanctuaries (2016 report)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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10806
48
Added
19 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 19 Oct 2016.

New Zealand’s four million km2 marine environment is diverse, with a range of coastal habitats and offshore seabed environments. There are also many marine species unique to New Zealand. Marine protected areas conserve or manage some of these unique habitats and species, while a range of other tools also provide marine protection. We report on the area covered by these tools as an indirect measure to understand the state of the marine environment.
Marine mammal sanctuaries are one of the marine protection tools used. They are designed to protect New Zealand’s unique range of marine mammals by reducing harmful human impacts, particularly in vulnerable areas such as migratory routes and breeding grounds. Each marine mammal sanctuary has a specific set of restrictions based on the species that occupy, or pass through that particular area.

Layer ID 53495
Data type Vector multipolygon
Feature count 9
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Type 2 Marine Protected Areas (2016 report)

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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10938
65
Added
19 Oct 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 19 Oct 2016.

New Zealand’s four million km2 marine environment is diverse, with a range of coastal habitats and offshore seabed environments. There are also many marine species unique to New Zealand. Marine protected areas (MPAs) conserve or manage some of these unique habitats and species, while a range of other tools also provide marine protection. We report on the area covered by these tools as an indirect measure to understand the state of the marine environment.
Type 2 MPAs have lower levels of protection than marine reserves. For example, they may allow fishing but restrict seabed trawling.

Layer ID 53499
Data type Vector multipolygon
Feature count 43
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Occurrence of non-native species in monitored ports

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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10644
39
Added
11 Jan 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 11 Jan 2016.

The number of exotic species observed in New Zealand's monitored ports of first entry for international vessels

Layer ID 52749
Data type Vector point
Feature count 11
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed

Freshwater pests: Water hyacinth

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

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12086
17
Added
11 Jan 2016

This dataset was first added to MfE Data Service on 11 Jan 2016.

"Freshwater plant and animal pests can have significant negative impacts on ecosystem health by reducing indigenous biodiversity through predation and competition, and destabilising aquatic habitats. Freshwater plant pests can cause economic losses through blocking water intakes for hydroelectricity generation, impeded drainage or irrigation. In addition, pests can affect the suitability for recreational activities.
This dataset relates to the ""Freshwater pests"" measure on the Environmental Indicators, Te taiao Aotearoa website. "

Layer ID 52741
Data type Vector point
Feature count 10
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed
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