PGF funds 3D mapping in the regions

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing in an expansion of 3D mapping to support major development projects and improve land use management in the regions.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced up to $19 million in co-funding to increase the national coverage of LiDAR data – precise measurements of the earth’s surface done from the air and used for creating 3D maps to manage land use.

“The funding will expand LiDAR coverage, so that councils facing cost pressures can take part in the government’s programme to collect and make this valuable data available nationwide,” Shane Jones said.

“LiDAR enables smarter planning and investment in forestry planting operations, greater agricultural productivity and more efficient infrastructure development. 

This data is also essential for better flood risk mapping, understanding the impacts of climate change, and improved environmental management.”

Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage welcomed the initiative.

“The funding will ensure that LiDAR mapping is available to regional sectors, such as forestry, farming, and infrastructure development,” Eugenie Sage said.

“The LiDAR dataset and the Digital Elevation Model are an invaluable resource. They help councils and different sectors of the economy better understand the impacts of natural hazards such as flooding and sea level rise. Geospatial information helps inform good land use decisions which protect communities and assets.”

Councils will need to apply for the co-funding from the Provincial Growth Fund. Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) will assist the Provincial Development Unit by providing coordination and technical support for all programmes to ensure national consistency and open data access.

The LiDAR dataset and the resulting Digital Elevation Model are an invaluable national resource. They help councils and different sectors of the economy better understand the impacts of natural hazards such as flooding and sea level rise.

Note for Editors:

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data, or height data, is precise laser measurements of the Earth's surface that is used for creating highly accurate 3D maps of the land.

LiDAR data is used for better management of natural hazards, such as flooding, landslides and erosion. It provides farm-scale land information to benefit the agriculture and forestry sectors. It is also widely used for development, engineering, architecture, and design applications by the private sector.

Open data access will benefit small businesses that would otherwise not have access to this enhanced data previously reserved to their larger competitors.

Homeowners will have information to accurately determine their properties' exposure to flooding with accurate local elevation data, rather than relying on generalised models. This could be used in setting meaningful risk-based insurance premiums, and better informing property transactions.