Government announces $800,000 for 3-D mapping of Northland
The Government will spend up to $800,000 to create a detailed 3-D map of Northland to help boost the region's economic development.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy on Wednesday announced the funding for the project which will use LiDAR, a sensing tool which uses laser pulses to map the ground.
Bridges said this will be the most accurate mapping exercise ever undertaken in New Zealand, and the data produced will provide a blueprint of the whole region.
He said the data would be 10 times more accurate than what is currently used, and will be used for forest inventory, floodplain mapping, urban planning and coastal engineering, as well as the design of farms, powerlines, roads, railways.
He said the project was part of the 10-year joint economic action plan with the Government and Northland that was launched last year.
Guy said the data would provide authorities with more confidence to deliver more cost-effective planning and a better understanding and ability to plan for sustainable land management.
The mapping would also help with detailed hazard planning and preparation by identifying any changes to land formations, water courses and physical structures after a natural event, he said.
He said the LiDAR technology was used after the Kaikoura earthquake to show how far the impact of the 7.8 magnitude quake extended out to sea.
Funding for the Northland LiDAR project comes from the Government's regional growth programme, co-led by the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.
Land Information New Zealand has also contributed funds.
The Government's funding has been collectively matched by the four Northland councils.
Northland still has the highest unemployment of any region, despite a sharp fall in the number of jobless around the country over the past year. Northland's unemployment rate was 7.2 per cent in the June quarter, compared with 4.8 per cent nationally.
The surveying, using a light aircraft, is expected to start later this year and be completed in 2018.