Biodata Management Guide

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SNA Systems

Local government bodies are required to identify and manage Significant Natural Areas under the RMA.

Council Case Studies

Links to descriptions of how specific councils manage SNA's. An overview of council efforts to address indigenous biodiversity on private land has been prepared by the Ministry for the Environment.

In November 2009 a Dataversity audio-conference about SNA Systems was held.

Auckland City Council
Auckland City Council are developing a database for their Heritage team, which will include SNA data.
Auckland Regional Council
Auckland Regional Council record their SNA data in their Natural Heritage Database
EcoBase is used to record site assessment data. Some of this data is quantitative, such as extent, structure, species composition, and tenure. Some is qualitative interpretation. Ecologists derive prioritisation scores, for a range of indicators, by interpreting this data. The prioritisation scores are stored in a separate spreadsheet.

Horizons define forest areas in terms of habitat type, rather than as SNAs. Habitat-types are defined at a regional level, then occurrences of each type are listed. This process uses the predicted potential natural vegetation data developed by Landcare Research, overlaid with land cover database (native forest class in LCDBII). The difference is then calculated. Anything below 20% remaining is classed as threatened habitat and is significant in the context of regulatory (RMA) planning. Anything between 20% and 50% remaining is considered at risk, and a test for significance is made on a site by site basis. Landcare Research provided the analytical comparison between the predicted vegetation and LCDBII and Horizons uses this data to make maps and inform policy. A similar analysis using LCDBIII may be undertaken when that database is available.
Marlborough District Council
Marlborough District Council have developed a database in Access to manage their SNA data. This database is available for other councils to to download and use. Description of Marlborough's SNA Project.
Northland Regional Council
Northland Regional Council manage their SNA data within the Council's Worksmart system.
North Shore City Council
North Shore City Council is in the process of transferring their hard copy SNA data to a database.
Tasman District Council
In late 2009, Tasman District Council (TDC) launched a new system to manage their SNH (Significant Natural Habitats) data.