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This section of the Biodata System Guide aims to define a complete set of the requirements that a local government organisation could have for a biodata system.

A local government organisation could select a sub-set of these requirements that reflect priorities for a particular area. That requirement set could then be used to evaluate systems meet the requirements.

The requirements definition aims to encompass the business requirements, defined by use cases, ecological scope, and features.

Business Requirements

In New Zealand, there is a Regulatory Requirement for Local Government to Manage Biodiversity. Biodata systems are required to support the following main tasks.

Set Biodiversity Management Priorities
Determine the species and habitats for which biodiversity management effort will make the most difference.
Measure Biodiversity Management Impacts
Measure the impact of biodiversity management efforts.
Prepare a State of the Environment Report
Report to MFE on key environmental indicators.
Inform a Resource Consent Process
Determine the biodiversity impacts of activities that are the subject of resource consent applications.
Support Community Biodiversity Management
Support community initiatives.

Ecological Scope

Local government biodiversity data systems must record part or all of the following.


  • Terrestrial
  • Wetlands
  • Estuaries
  • Lakes
  • Rivers & Streams
  • Groundwater
  • Geothermal

Indigenous Species

  • Freshwater Fish
  • Freshwater Macroinvertebrates
  • Vegetation
  • Fungi (including lichens)
  • Birds
  • Invertebrates
  • Herpetofauna


  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Fungi

Specific Requirements

Bathing Water Quality Requirements

  • Measure and report on recreational water quality.

Monitoring Requirements

    • Monitor  and report on ecosyems and species using standardised methods,  whether or not they are part of significant natural areas.

Grey literature electronic library Requirements

  • store and search for electronic grey literature 'documents' (e.g. pictures, memos, informal reports, e-mails, university theses) that are geotagged to site locations.
SNA Requirements
Survey, monitor and manage significant natural areas.