Natural forest data

Natural forest data are publicly available. Data use protocols apply. In a small number of cases, landowners have imposed additional restrictions on data use and these data cannot be released without permission from the landowner.

The data can be obtained from the New Zealand National Vegetation Survey Databank (NVS) [Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research website]. Users must open a NVS account and login to request the data. To locate the data search NVS for 'NZ Indigenous Carbon Monitoring'.

Planted forest data

The LUCAS planted forest inventory began in 2007. The data collected comprise ground-based plot measurements with plots measured approximately every 5 years. Each plot covers an area of 0.06 hectares and measurement includes identifying and measuring all trees (both crop and non-crop) within the plot. Core samples may be taken from some trees in order to determine their age.

Data collected from planted forest plots are sometimes available for use in research programmes, unless landowners have requested restricted access.

A limited amount of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data was also captured between 2006 and 2015. LiDAR is an airborne remote sensing technology that measures distance and surface properties of targets by illuminating them with a laser and recording the reflections.

The LiDAR data comprise swaths approximately 70m-wide over various pre-1990 and post-1989 forest plantations. .

Metrics for multiple surfaces (tree-top to ground) can be extracted from this LiDAR data to characterise forest structure and ground elevation. This may be of value to researchers, forest owners and training organisations.

Locations of available LiDAR data

Refer to the LiDAR metadata footprints [MfE Data Service] for locations of available LiDAR data and related orthophotography.

Soil data

The Ministry for the Environment can make available a variety of soil data sets obtained from both historical sources and ground-based field inventories.


Enquiries and requests for planted forest and soil data can be made to the Ministry for the Environment's Carbon Sequestration team.