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Our land 2021 9.49 MB

This report provides the most up-to-date estimates of New Zealand’s land cover and associated land use and changes. It explores the impact of New Zealand’s growing population, export-driven economic growth, and the demand for housing in the future.

Key findings:

  • More than half (53%) of New Zealand's gross emissions in 2018 were methane and nitrous oxide, with most coming from agriculture.
  • Native ecosystems continue to shrink, mainly through conversion to agriculture or forestry.
  • Dairy cows have more than doubled since the 1980s to more than 6 million in 2019.
  • The use of irrigation, especially on land used for dairy farming, has nearly doubled since 2002.
  • Nitrogen use has skyrocketed from 62,000 to 452,000 tonnes per year between 1991 and 2019.
  • 65% of dairy farms have compacted soils, and 60% use to much fertiliser.
  • Nationwide 80% of monitoring sites failed to meet one or more soil quality targets.
  • In the Mackenzie Basin, tenure review and agri-development have led to less than 10% of the valley floor retaining any form of protection, despite this being the home of many threatened plants and animals.
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