National indicator data for river condition in New Zealand

Latest version published by The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) on 09 August 2018 The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA)
Publication date:
09 August 2018
CC-BY-NC 4.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 183,438 records in English (3 MB) - Update frequency: not planned
Metadata as an EML file download in English (6 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (7 KB)


National indicator data for river condition in New Zealand - collected by Regional Councils and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), collated and processed by NIWA and protected by copyright owned by the Ministry for the Environment on behalf of the Crown. The dataset consists of physical-chemical water quality and macro-invertebrate data from the regional council State of Environment (SoE) and National River Water Quality Network (NRWQN) programmes. The physical-chemical water quality variables are water clarity (CLAR), Escherichia coli concentration (ECOLI), nitrate-nitrogen concentration (NO3N[1]), ammoniacal nitrogen concentration (NH4N), total nitrogen concentration (TN), dissolved reactive phosphorus concentration (DRP), total phosphorus concentration (TP), temperature (TEMP), dissolved oxygen concentration (DO[2]) and percent saturation (DOSAT), suspended sediment (SS), and turbidity (TURB).

The invertebrate variables are taxa lists and counts or coded-abundance classes for each taxon. The raw invertebrate data were post-processed to generate four variables: total number of taxa in a sample (TAXA), the number of taxa from the insect orders Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera (EPTtaxa), the percentage of individuals in a sample from EPT taxa (%EPTabund), and the Semi-Quantitative Macroinvertebrate Community Index for hard-bottom streams (SQMCI-hb). REC reach numbers where added to site information based on best guesses.

In the dataset used for the 2012 study, the start dates for all monitoring site records were 1 January 2006 or earlier, and the end dates ranged from June 2009 to February 2012. The range of end dates poses some potential problems due to temporal variation in water quality. Further, we carried out temporal trend analyses in the current study and recent data were needed to ensure that the analyses corresponded to recent conditions. For these reasons we requested updated physical-chemical water quality data from five regional councils, to fill the most severe gaps in recent data. Each of the five regional councils provided updates, and the ending dates in the current dataset range from January 2011 to December 2012. Note that start and end dates can vary among sites within councils, and among variables within sites.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 183,438 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC-BY-NC 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 8c535464-4c81-4417-a032-1d817fb352ae.  The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by GBIF New Zealand.


Occurrence; Observation


Scott Larned
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
NIWA National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research
Data Curator
  • Metadata Provider
NIWA National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research

Geographic Coverage

New Zealand mainland

Bounding Coordinates South West [-46.7, 166.1], North East [-34.2, 178.84]

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1989-01-01 / 2012-02-29

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers 8c535464-4c81-4417-a032-1d817fb352ae