New Zealand's Environment Reporting Series: The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand
A glacier is a body of slow-moving ice, at least 1 hectare in area that has persisted for two decades or longer. New Zealand has 3,144 glaciers. Most are located along the Southern Alps on the South Island, although Mount Ruapehu on the North Island supports 18 glaciers. New Zealand’s large glaciers are noteworthy for their large debris cover. The exceptions, Franz Joseph and Fox glaciers, are rare examples of glaciers that terminate in a rainforest. Glacier volume is strongly influenced by climate factors, such as temperature and precipitation, which scientists expect to be affected by the warming climate. Glacial ice is an important water resource. Changes to ice storage and melting can affect ecological and hydropower resources downstream, as well as important cultural values and tourism. More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.