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Examples of geographic boundary layers

Here are two examples of geographic boundary files, which are electronic files of geographic boundaries (in digitised form) used in mapping and geographic information systems (GIS).

View the maps below, or download the maps to print, or view using fewer layers, from 'Available files' above. If you have problems viewing the files, see Opening files and PDFs.

You can turn layers on and off in the PDF files, to view various components of the map. To do this, click on the layers tab on the left side of the PDF file to expand the layers. Then select layers you wish to turn off or on.

Text files of the geographic relationships between meshblocks and higher geographies are also available in annual Geographic area files. More information is also available through the Geographic hierarchy page.

2016 territorial authorities

The image below shows the territorial authorities as at 2016. Territorial authorities are defined at meshblock level and represent district and city councils boundaries. When defining the boundaries of territorial authorities in 1989, the Local Government Commission placed considerable weight on the 'community of interest'. While the size of the community was a factor, the relevance of the components of the community to each other, and the capacity of the unit to service the community in an efficient manner, were the factors on which the commission placed most emphasis.

The image below uses colours to differentiated territorial authorities. 

Territorial authorities at 1 January 2015

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Example of meshblocks and area units

The image below represents meshblocks and area units within the Grey district territorial authority. 

Meshblocks are the smallest geographic unit for which statistical data is collected by Statistics New Zealand. Meshblocks vary in size from part of a city block to large areas of rural land. Each meshblock abuts another to cover all of New Zealand, extending out to the 200-mile economic zone (approximately 320 kilometres). Meshblocks aggregate to build all larger geographic areas, including area units, territorial authorities, and regional councils.

Area units are aggregations of meshblocks. They are non-administrative areas that are in between meshblocks and territorial authorities in size. Area units must either define or aggregate to define: regional councils, territorial authorities, urban areas, and statistical areas.

The image below uses colours to differentiate area units within Grey district. Meshblocks are overlayed on top of the units are indicated by a grey boundary. Also visible on this map are lakes within Grey district (including Lake Brunner), Grey River, and the township of Greymouth.

To view this map using fewer layers, download Grey district territorial authority, 2015 PDF from 'Available files' above. If you have problems viewing the files, see Opening files and PDFs

Grey district territorial authority

Published 21 March 2016

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