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Geographic areas

Latest news

Geographic boundary files annual update: 2020 (published December 2019)
The 2020 update to the geographic boundary files is now available. Files are downloadable in multiple formats from the Stats NZ geographic data service. This service provides an easy-to-use platform to search, browse, and download geographic boundaries.

Geographic area files: 2020 (published December 2019)
The 2020 geographic areas file is a .csv file of the 2020 meshblocks concorded to selected meshblock years and higher geographies.

Geographic classifications update 2020 (published December 2019)
The 2020 update to geographic classifications is now available on Ariā. Classifications and concordances are available to download in a number of formats or can be viewed on Ariā.

Statistical standard for geographic areas 2018 (published December 2017)
Stats NZ's official standard for New Zealand geographic areas, Statistical standard for geographic areas 2018 (SSGA18) is now available. SSGA18 replaces the 1992 New Zealand Standard Areas Classification.

Information about geographic areas 

Stats NZ geographic data service
The Stats NZ geographic data service provides an easy-to-use platform to search, browse, and download geographic boundaries. It also provides a selection of 2013 and 2018 Census data, including population, dwelling, and household counts on the 2018 statistical geographic areas.

Explore statistical maps about New Zealand and its people. These maps show changes in our society and economy.

Geographic Boundary Viewer
The Geographic Boundary Viewer is designed to help people visualise geographic boundaries.  View the relationships between boundaries, and how they change over time.

Geographic boundary files
Downloadable geodatabasesshapefiles, and MapInfo files for years before 2018 are available to use within GIS software. From 2018 these are available to download in multiple formats from the Stats NZ geographic data service

Examples of geographic boundary layers
Examples of digital geographic boundary files, including maps available in PDF format. 

Geographic area files
Annual text files for all meshblocks and their higher geographies for the years 2010 to 2018.

Geographic hierarchy 
Illustrated by a diagram, meshblocks and how they form larger geographic areas such as statistical area 2, ward, and territorial authority.

Data for geographic areas

Commuter View
An experimental interactive mapping tool using 2013 Census data that shows the number of people commuting between area units. The map enables the viewer to identify areas of high employment density.

Regional statistics at a glance
Find information about your area using our guide to regional statistics.

QuickStats about a place (2013 Census)
Provides overviews of New Zealand's communities. Get information on topics such as population and dwellings, cultural diversity, qualifications, transport, and housing.

2013 meshblock dataset
Contains counts at meshblock level for selected variables from the 2013, 2006, and 2001 Censuses. The geographies correspond to 2013 Census boundaries. The counts are at the highest level of each variable’s classification. The dataset also contains counts for area units, wards, Auckland local board area (Auckland region only), territorial authorities, and regional councils. 

Reports and articles

Commuting patterns in Auckland (July 2015)
Commuting patterns in greater Christchurch (March 2015)
Commuting patterns in Wellington (March 2015)
These reports discuss trends in commuting patterns in major cities and regions, using data from the 2006 and 2013 Censuses. They include commentary, maps, and graphs.

Design principles for maps using New Zealand's statistical data (August 2014)
Design principles to help map-makers and analysts who use our geo-statistical information.

Mapping trends in the Auckland region (June 2009)
Presents background data to help inform the debate. It looks at some fundamental social, demographic, and economic trends affecting people in the Auckland region. It focuses particularly on geographical patterns, and how these are changing over time. The data come from population censuses and projections, and cover the period 1991 to 2031. The results are presented mainly through maps and graphs.

Local population trends
An Excel file that contains graphs, tables and supporting notes that illustrate past and likely future trends in population size, population age structure, births, deaths, and net migration for each territorial authority, regional council area, and the Auckland local boards, as well as for New Zealand as a whole.

Commuting patterns in New Zealand: 1996–2006 (July 2009)
Statistical overview of commuting patterns in New Zealand between 1996 and 2006, focusing on Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch cities.

New Zealand: An urban/rural profile update 
Updates and reviews the experimental classification used in the 2004 report New Zealand: An Urban/Rural Profile, using 2006 Census information.

New Zealand: An urban/rural profile (2004)
Explores the diversity of the social and economic characteristics of people living in all areas of the urban-rural spectrum. The project-specific, experimental classification developed for this report re-categorises rural areas on the basis of the significance of urban areas as a source of employment. Smaller urban areas are re-categorised according to the proportion of people that work in a main urban area.

Page updated 4 December 2019

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