This dataset is the definitive set of meshblock boundaries as at 1 January 2018 as defined by Stats NZ.Stats NZ maintains an annual meshblock geography 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 defined by a geographic area, which can vary in size from part of a city block to a large area of rural land. 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. Meshblocks are added together to build up larger geographic areas such as statistical area 1 (SA1), statistical area 2 (SA2), and urban rural. They are also used to define electoral districts, territorial authorities, and regional councils. There are two ways of amending meshblock boundaries. Splitting is subdividing a meshblock into two or more meshblocks. Nudging is shifting a boundary to a more appropriate position. Reasons for splits and nudges include:to accommodate changes to local government boundaries, which are required by the Local Government Act 2002 to follow meshblocks for electoral purposesto accommodate changes to parliamentary electoral boundaries, following each Electoral Representation Commission review after each five-yearly Census of Population and Dwellingsto make changes to statistical boundaries such as statistical area 1 (SA1), statistical area 2 (SA2), and urban ruralto enable changes to census collection districtsto improve the size balance of meshblocks in areas where there has been population growthto separate land and water – e.g. mainland, islands, inlets, and oceanic are defined separatelyto accommodate requests from other users of the meshblock pattern e.g. NZ Police for their station, area, and district boundaries.Meshblock numbering process until 2014 (MB 2014)Meshblocks were allocated a unique seven-digit number. The first five digits were unique, and referred to the original 1976 meshblock code. The two end numbers referred to sequential meshblock splits to the original meshblock. When a meshblock was split the final two digits of the original meshblock number were changed. Stats NZ maintains a concordance file to ensure that boundaries relating to earlier meshblock patterns can also be produced.Meshblock numbering process from 2015 (MB 2015)Due to new technology being introduced for splitting and nudging meshblocks, the process for allocating a unique seven-digit number has changed. New meshblock numbering is approximately sequential. The first meshblock number in this new sequential numbering pattern is 4000000. This differentiates meshblocks split from MB2015 onwards, and allows for a large number of unique seven digit identifiers to be allocated. Now when a meshblock is split it takes on the next available number, rather than following the former process described above. For example, a meshblock numbered 3254000 is split into two meshblocks. Using the new numbering process the system will assign the first available sequential numbers. The following table shows how the two meshblocks would be numbered based on the old and new processes.Original meshblockOld numberingOriginal meshblockNew numbering325400032540013254000400000032540024000001The digital geographic boundaries are defined and maintained by Stats NZ.Meshblocks cover the land area of New Zealand, the water area to the 12-mile limit, the Chatham Islands, Kermadec Islands, sub-Antarctic islands, off-shore oil rigs, and Ross Dependency. The following 16 meshblocks are not held in digitised form.MeshblockLocation (statistical area 2 name)0016901Oceanic Kermadec Islands0016902Kermadec Islands1588000Oceanic Oil Rig Taranaki3166401Oceanic Campbell Island3166402Campbell Island3166600Oceanic Oil Rig Southland3166710Oceanic Auckland Islands3166711Auckland Islands3195000Ross Dependency3196001New Zealand Economic Zone3196002Oceanic Bounty Islands3196003Bounty Islands3196004Oceanic Snares Islands3196005Snares Island3196006Oceanic Antipodes Islands3196007Antipodes IslandsMeshblock boundaries generally follow road centre-lines, cadastral property boundaries or topographical features (e.g.rivers). Expanses of water in the form of lakes and inlets are defined separately from land.The annual pattern of digital boundaries is used for the full calendar year from 1 January.The following table shows the total number of meshblocks for each annual pattern since 1991 when meshblocks were first digitised. YearMeshblock total of NZDigitised meshblock total199135,152 (Census)35,146199235,16335,157199335,37035,364199435,58435,578199536,23536,228199636,808 (Census)36,801199736,80836,801199836,82936,822199937,15437,147200037,38337,367200138,366 (Census)38,350200238,37838,362200338,68538,669200439,31339,297200539,81939,803200641,392 (Census )41,376200741,51241,496200842,98242,966200943,94043,924201046,25246,236201146,62746,611201246,63246,616201346,637 (Census)46,621201446,64346,627201547,06247,046201647,06247,046201750,61350,597201853,58953,573Digital boundary data became freely available on 1 July 2007.
The digital meshblock boundaries are stored and maintained by Stats NZ. Non-alignment of meshblock and cadastral boundaries are one of a number of reasons for meshblock boundary adjustments. Other reasons include requests from local authorities, Local Government Commission, Electoral Representation Commission and to make census enumeration processes easier. From the generalised meshblock pattern, higher geographies are dissolved using the dissolve tool in the Arc GIS suite to create multiple output datasets. To derive the meshblock boundaries clipped to the coastline, meshblock polygons were dissolved to exclude meshblocks with a land/water attribute of Inlet or Oceanic.
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