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A classification of New Zealand's coastal hydrosystems

Publication date:  February 2017
Publication reference number:  CR 254

This report provides a classification of coastal hydrosystems within New Zealand, including some offshore islands. Coastal hydrosystems describe coastal features that span a gradient from near coast freshwater lakes/wetlands (lacustrine/palustrine environments) to marine.

The coastal hydrosystems classification reconciles and clarifies coastal hydrosystem terminology and produces a hierarchy and classification of coastal wetland, riverine, estuarine and marine types. This report identifies and lists environmental variables that describe the characteristics and properties of about 500 discrete coastal hydrosystems that can be used to provide national and regional statistics on coastal hydrosystems. An identification key is provided to guide how classes are determined.

The report also illustrates the management uses of the classification by recognising the diversity among different hydrosystems and how they function to enable targeted management approaches for their associated services, values, threats and effects.

Data for this classification has been provided in several different forms on the MfE Data Service including:

  • Excel (.csv) database of environmental variables
  • GIS point and polygon layers
  • Google Earth (.kmz) point and polygon layers.