Urban Accessibility Indicator 2023 (generalised)


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30 Nov 2022

This dataset was first added to Stats NZ Geographic Data Service on 30 Nov 2022.

2023 Urban Accessibility Indicator update

For the 2023 IUA, there have been minor updates to align with changes to the urban rural (UR) boundaries and SA1 composition. The drive time analysis has not been re-run since the release of IUA 2018. The Wānaka urban area, whose population has grown to bemore than 10,000 based on population estimates, has been reclassified to a medium urban area in the 2023 UR. However, it will continue to be classified as a small urban area in the IUA until the analysis is re-run for the next major update.


This dataset is the definitive version of the Urban Accessibility Indicator boundaries as at 1 January 2023, as defined by Stats NZ.

The Urban Accessibility Indicator (IUA) classificationprovides a consistent measure of urban accessibility in order to distinguish the degrees of rurality in New Zealand. IUA classifies the geographic accessibility of rural statistical area 1s (SA1s) and small urban areas according to their proximity, or degree of remoteness, to larger urban areas.

The IUA methodology uses drive time from an SA1 address weighted centroid to the outside boundary of the nearest major, large, and medium urban area (from the UR classification), to classify rural SA1s and small urban areas to one of five categories of accessibility or remoteness. Small urban areas and rural settlements are assigned to a single category based on the classification of the majority of their SA1s. The Open Source Routing Machine service using the OpenStreetMap road network was used to calculate the drive times.

Rural SA1s and small urban areas are classified to the following categories:

High urban accessibility:

0 to 15 minutes from major urban areas,

Medium urban accessibility:

15 to 25 minutes from major urban areas,

0 to 25 minutes from large urban areas,

0 to 15 minutes from medium urban areas,

Low urban accessibility:

25 to 60 minutes from major or large urban areas,

15 to 60 minutes from medium urban areas,


60 to 120 minutes from major, large or medium urban areas,

Very remote:

more than 120 minutes from major, large or medium urban areas.

The urban accessibility indicator (IUA) classifies urban, rural, and water areas by type. The high and medium urban accessibility categories are considered to be peri-urban.

The indicators, with their codes in brackets, are:

urban areas – major urban area (111), large urban area (112), medium urban area (113),

small urban and rural areas – high urban accessibility (221), medium urban accessibility (222), low urban accessibility (223), remote (224), very remote (225),

water areas – inland water (331), inlet (332), oceanic (333).

A concordance between SA1 and Urban Accessibility can be found on Ariā.

Urban accessibility indicator is also available as an attribute on Statistical Area 1 Higher Geographies 2023 (generalised).

For more information refer to Urban accessibility – methodology and classification or the Statistical standard for geographic areas 2023.

Generalised version

This generalised version has been simplified for rapid drawing and is designed for thematic or web mapping purposes.

Digital data

Digital boundary data became freely available on 1 July 2007.

To download geographic classifications in table formats such as CSV please use Ariā


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

You may use this work for commercial purposes.

You must attribute the creator in your own works.

Technical Details
Layer ID 111195
Data type Vector multipolygon
Feature count 11
Attributes IUA2023_V1_00, IUA2023_V1_00_NAME, LAND_AREA_SQ_KM, AREA_SQ_KM, Shape_Length
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), data.govt.nz Atom Feed
Added 30 Nov 2022
Revisions 4 - Browse all revisions
Current revision Imported on Nov. 30, 2022 from Geodatabase in NZGD2000 / New Zealand Transverse Mercator 2000. 1 geometry modified to be OGC compliant. Changelog.


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