Meshblock 2023 (generalised)


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01 Dec 2022

This dataset was first added to Stats NZ Geographic Data Service on 01 Dec 2022.

This dataset is the definitive of the annually released meshblock boundaries as at 1 January 2023 as defined by Stats NZ (the custodian), clipped to the coastline. This clipped version has been created for cartographic purposes and so does not fully represent the official full extent boundaries. This version contains 57,539 meshblocks.

Stats NZ maintains an annual meshblock pattern for collecting and producing statistical data. This allows data to be compared over time.

A meshblock is the smallest geographic unit for which statistical data is collected and processed by Stats NZ. A meshblock is a defined geographic area, which can vary in size from part of a city block to a large area of rural land. The optimal size for a meshblock is 30–60 dwellings (containing approximately 60–120 residents).

Each meshblock borders on another to form a network covering all of New Zealand, including coasts and inlets and extending out to the 200-mile economic zone (EEZ) and is digitised to the 12-mile (19.3km) limit. Meshblocks are added together to build up larger geographic areas such as statistical area 1 (SA1), statistical area 2 (SA2), statistical area 3 (SA3), and urban rural (UR). They are also used to define electoral districts, territorial authorities, and regional councils.

Meshblock boundaries generally follow road centrelines, cadastral property boundaries, or topographical features such as rivers. Expanses of water in the form of lakes and inlets are defined separately from land.

Meshblock maintenance

Meshblock boundaries are amended by:

  1. Splitting – subdividing a meshblock into two or more meshblocks.
  2. Nudging – shifting a boundary to a more appropriate position.

Reasons for meshblock splits and nudges can include:

·to maintain meshblock criteria rules.

·to improve the size balance of meshblocks in areas where there has been population growth

·to maintain alignment to cadastre and other geographic features.

·Stats NZ requests for boundary changes so that statistical geography boundaries can be moved

·external requests for boundary changes so that administrative or electoral boundaries can be moved

·to separate land and water. Mainland, inland water, islands, inlets, and oceanic are defined separately

Meshblock changes are made throughout the year. A major release is made at 1 January each year with ad hoc releases available to users at other times.

While meshblock boundaries are continually under review, 'freezes' on changes to the boundaries are applied periodically. Such 'freezes' are imposed at the time of population censuses and during periods of intense electoral activity, for example, prior and during general and local body elections.

Meshblock numbering

Meshblocks are not named and have seven-digit codes.

When meshblocks are split, each new meshblock is given a new code. The original meshblock codes no longer exist within that version and future versions of the meshblock classification. Meshblock codes do not change when a meshblock boundary is nudged.

Meshblocks that existed prior to 2015 and have not changed are numbered from 0000100 to 3210003. Meshblocks created from 2015 onwards are numbered from 4000000.

Digitised and non-digitised meshblocks

The digital geographic boundaries are defined and maintained by Stats NZ.

Meshblocks cover the land area of New Zealand, the water area to the 12mile limit, the Chatham Islands, Kermadec Islands, sub-Antarctic islands, offshore oil rigs, and Ross Dependency. The following 16 meshblocks are not held in digitised form.

Meshblock / Location (statistical area 2 name)

  • 0016901 / Oceanic Kermadec Islands
  • 0016902 / Kermadec Islands
  • 1588000 / Oceanic Oil Rig Taranaki
  • 3166401 / Oceanic Campbell Island
  • 3166402 / Campbell Island
  • 3166600 / Oceanic Oil Rig Southland
  • 3166710 / Oceanic Auckland Islands
  • 3166711 / Auckland Islands
  • 3195000 / Ross Dependency
  • 3196001 / New Zealand Economic Zone
  • 3196002 / Oceanic Bounty Islands
  • 3196003 / Bounty Islands
  • 3196004 / Oceanic Snares Islands
  • 3196005 / Snares Island
  • 3196006 / Oceanic Antipodes Islands
  • 3196007 / Antipodes Island

For more information please refer to 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 111228
Data type Vector multipolygon
Feature count 57539 (incl. 16 with empty or null geometries)
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), Atom Feed
Added 1 Dec 2022
Revisions 2 - Browse all revisions
Current revision Imported on Dec. 1, 2022 from Geodatabase in NZGD2000 / New Zealand Transverse Mercator 2000. 1 geometry modified to be OGC compliant. Changelog.


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