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RiverNet - A River Network for New Zealand

Freshwater biodiversity science and management requires a nationally consistent "fabric" of freshwaters of New Zealand (including their attributes) as essential environmental background information.

This forum is for discussing and progressing the development, maintenance and use of a consistent river network ('RiverNet') for New Zealand.


In 1956 the first attempt to register catchment and rivers in New Zealand resulted in the "Catchments of New Zealand" list which is widely used, but was never maintained. With the River Environment Classification (REC), created in 2004 by NIWA, funded by MfE, the first digital national river network was created and is now used widespread across the country. However, multiple deficiencies around that dataset where recognized in the community but never openly discussed and addressed. No ongoing maintenance was provided for that dataset. Recently, NIWA has created a new version of a national river network (which we term here 'RiverNet'), funded through TFBIS. This Forum has been created to ensure the continued community discussion on that network and related information and to ensure its' evolution as a living resource.

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