New Zealand

31.0% —or about 8,309,000 hectares—of New Zealand is forested. Of this, 42.2% —or roughly 3,506,000 hectares—is classified as primary forest, the most biodiverse form of forest.

Change in Forest Cover: Between 1990 and 2000, New Zealand gained an average of 50,600 hectares of forest per year. The amounts to an average annual reforestation rate of 0.66%. Between 2000 and 2005, the rate of forest change decreased by 69.2% to 0.20% per annum. In total, between 1990 and 2005, New Zealand gained 7.6% of its forest cover, or around 589,000 hectares. Measuring the total rate of habitat conversion (defined as change in forest area plus change in woodland area minus net plantation expansion) for the 1990-2005 interval, New Zealand lost 0.0% of its forest and woodland habitat.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas: New Zealand has some 484 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 39.0% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 20.2% are threatened. New Zealand is home to at least 2382 species of vascular plants, of which 81.5% are endemic. 24.0% of New Zealand is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

New Zealand pictures


New Zealand: Forest Cover, 2005
Total Land Area (ha)26,799,000
Total Forest Area (ha)8,309,000
Percent Forest Cover31.00%
Primary Forest Cover (ha)3,506,000
Primary Forest, % total forest42.20%
Primary Forest, % total land13.08%
Other wooded land (ha)2,557,000

New Zealand : Forest types
Tropical (% forest area)0%
Subtropical (% forest area)51%
Temperate (% forest area)49%
Boreal/polar (% forest area)0%

New Zealand: Breakdown of forest types, 2005
Primary forest (ha | %)3,506,00042.2%
Modified natural (ha | %)2,951,00035.5%
Semi-natural (ha | %)--
Production plantation (ha | %)1,832,00022.0%
Production plantation (ha | %)20,0000.2%

New Zealand: Change in Forest Cover
Forest 1990 (ha)7,720,000
Forest 2000 (ha)8,226,000
Forest 2005 (ha)8,309,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)50,6000.66%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)16,6000.20%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)589,0007.63%
Change in rate (%)-69.21%
Primary 1990 (ha)3,506,000
Primary 2000 (ha)3,506,000
Primary 2005 (ha)3,506,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Other 1990 (ha)2,557,000
Other 2000 (ha)2,557,000
Other 2005 (ha)2,557,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)-0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Change in rate (%)#DIV/0!
Other 1990 (ha)1,261,000
Other 2000 (ha)1,769,000
Other 2005 (ha)1,852,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)50,8004.03%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)16,6000.94%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)591,00046.87%
Change in rate (%)-76.71%
Forest area+Wooded Area-Plantations
Other 1990 (ha)9,016,000
Other 2000 (ha)9,014,000
Other 2005 (ha)9,014,000
Annual Change 1990-2000 (ha | %)(200)0.00%
Annual Change 2000-2005 (ha | %)-0.00%
Total Change 1990-2005 (ha | %)(2,000)-0.02%
Change in rate (%)-100.00%

New Zealand: Primary
Primary or "old-growth" vegetation
Primary Forest 2005 (ha)3,506,000
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)411,000
Other primary wooded land 2005 (ha)3,917,000
Undisturbed vegetation 2005 (% land area)14.62%

New Zealand: Forest designation
Ownership of forest land, 2000
Public (%)63.4%
Private (%)36.6%
Other (%)0.0%
Ownership of other wooded land, 2000
Public (%)-
Private (%)-
Other (%)-
Designated functions of forest – primary function 2005
Production (%)22.0%
Protection (%)0.2%
Conservation (%)77.7%
Social Services (%)-
Multiple Services (%)-
None of Unknown (%)-

New Zealand: Disturbances affecting forest land 2000
Forest Area annually affected by
Fire (%)0.00%
Insects (ha)-
Diseases (ha)-
Other (ha)0.09%

New Zealand: Protected areas
Protected areas
Biosphere reserves, 2005
Wetlands of international importance (Ramsar sites), 20055
World Heritage sites, 20043
Protected Areas: IUCN categories I-V, percent of total land24.0%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories Ia, Ib, and II, extent, percent of total land7.14%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories III, IV, and V, percent of total land, 200416.51%
Protected Areas: IUCN categories VI and other, percent of total land, 20040.26%

New Zealand: Biodiversity - Wildlife
total species6
endemic species5
threatened species4
total species351
endemic species128
threatened species74
total species73
endemic species7
threatened species8
total species54
endemic species49
threatened species12
Wildlife diversity
total species484
endemic species189
threatened species98

New Zealand: Biodiversity - Plants
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Growing stock composition
3 most common species
% of total growing stock
Number of Native tree species
Native tree species121
Number of tree species in IUCN red list
Critically Endangered1
Vascular Plant Species, 2004
Number endemic1942
Number of Threatened Plant Species, 2004
Species threatened21

New Zealand: Value of forests
Biomass stock in forest, 2005
Above-ground biomass (M t)-
Below-ground biomass (M t)-
Dead wood (M t)-
Total (M t)-
Carbon stock in forest, 2005
Carbon in above-ground biomass (M t)-
Carbon in below-ground biomass (M t)-
Carbon in dead wood (M t)-
Carbon in litter (M t)-
Soil carbon (M t)-
Change in growing stock 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate (1000 cubic m/yr)
Growing stock per hectare 1990 - 2005
Annual change rate ( cubic m/ha per yr)
Wood removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (1000 cubic m)24,687
Wood fuel (1000 cubic m)-
Total wood removal 2005 (1000 cubic m)24,687
Total wood removal 2005 (% of growing stock)-
Plant products 2005
Food (t)-
Fodder (t)0
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)-
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)-
Raw material for utensils, handicrafts & construction (t)-
Ornamental plants (t)0
Exudates (t)0
Other plant products (t)5,900
Animal products 2005
Living animals (units)-
Hides, skins and trophies (units)24,000
Wild honey and bee-wax (t)2,900
Bush meat (t)90
Raw material for medicine and aromatic products (t)0
Raw material for colorants and dyes (t)0
Other edible animal products (t)11
Other non-edible animal products (t)-
Value of wood and non-wood forest product removal 2005
Industrial roundwood (US$)$647,179,000
Wood fuel (US$)-
Non-wood forest products (US$)$18,240,000
Total value (US$)$665,419,000
Total value ($USD/ha)$80
Employment in forestry 2000
Total people employed9,000

New Zealand : Production, trade and consumption of forest products, 2002
Woodfuel ('000 cubic m), 2002
Industrial roundwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Sawnwood ('000 cubic m), 2002
Wood-based panels ('000 cubic m), 2002
Pulp for paper ('000 metric tons), 2002
Paper and paperboard ('000 metric tons), 2002
New Zealand: Environment
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; soil erosion; native flora and fauna hard-hit by species introduced from outside
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic Seals, Marine Life Conservation
Natural hazardsearthquakes are common, though usually not severe; volcanic activity

New Zealand: Land use / Resources
Land use (%)arable land: 5.6%
permanent crops: 6.99%
other: 87.41% (2001)
Natural resourcesnatural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone

New Zealand: Economy
Economy - overview:Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes (but left behind many at the bottom of the ladder), broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector, and contained inflationary pressures. Per capita income has risen for six consecutive years and is now more than $24,000 in purchasing power parity terms. New Zealand is heavily dependent on trade - particularly in agricultural products - to drive growth. Exports are equal to about 20% of GDP. Thus far the economy has been resilient, and the Labor Government promises that expenditures on health, education, and pensions will increase proportionately to output.
GDP - per capita$24,100 (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate (%)2.5% (2005 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, fruits, vegetables; wool, beef, lamb and mutton, dairy products; fish
GDP - composition by sector (%)agriculture: 4.7%, industry: 27.8%, services: 67.6% (2005 est.)
Industries food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, tourism, mining
Population below poverty line (%)NA
Debt - external$57.67 billion (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation (%)agriculture 10%, industry 25%, services 65% (1995)

New Zealand: Population / Demographics
Population (July 2005)4,035,461
Population growth rate (%) (2005)1.02%
Population density (people/sq km) (2005)15.1
Percent rural (2003)14.1%
Median age (years)total: 33.65 years
Total fertility rate (children born/woman)1.79 (2005 est.)
Ethnic groups (%)European 69.8%, Maori 7.9%, Asian 5.7%, Pacific islander 4.4%, other 0.5%, mixed 7.8%, unspecified 3.8% (2001 census)

Largest Cities in New Zealand

Cities and urban areas in New Zealand with population over 100,000 All figures are estimates for 2002.

CityCountryCity PopulationUrban Area Population
AucklandNew Zealand3863001134600
ChristchurchNew Zealand317600345100
WellingtonNew Zealand168100348000
DunedinNew Zealand111400111400
HamiltonNew Zealand109800174100

 Environment, Land use / Resources, Economy, Population / Demographics, Infrastructure, Health -- CIA World Factbook, 2005
 Forest Cover, Forest types, Breakdown of forest types, Change in Forest Cover, Primary forests, Forest designation, Disturbances affecting forest land, Value of forests, Production, trade and consumption of forest products -- The FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS's Global Forest Resources Assessment (2005) and the State of the World’s Forests (2005, 2003, 2001)
 Protected Areas, Plant and animal biodiversity -- United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2004. World Database on Protected Areas.
 Biosphere reservers -- United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) - Man and Biosphere Program. 2004. UNESCO - MAB Biosphere Reserves Directory.
 RAMSAR sites -- The Bureau of the Convention on Wetlands . 2005. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
 World Resources Institute's EarthTrends web site
 The 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
 Population Data -- United Nations Population Fund
 With additional analysis by Rhett Butler of

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