$14 million in funding announced for LiDAR on the West Coast
West Coast LiDAR to receive share of $14M in government co-funding
The West Coast is one of eight regions to receive a share of $14 million funding from the Provincial Growth Fund to obtain LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) elevation datasets. Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is managing this initiative on behalf of the Provincial Development Unit.
Funding is only obtainable through a co-funding arrangement whereby the region must contribute a proportion of the total package. The West Coast Regional Council has taken the lead on this project, and through working with a number of organisations across the region, has obtained funding commitments which will result in valuable LiDAR work being undertaken that will support all West Coast communities.
Hadley Mills, Planning Science and Innovation Manager at the West Coast Regional Council, said that this was a great outcome for the region.
“The level of information that LiDAR can provide is significant to a number of projects, forward planning and decision making for all sorts of sectors including local government hazard planning and flood protection, infrastructure providers and other key sectors,” said Mr Mills. “The enormous support shown by our regional co-funding partners signals just how important this information is for all of us.”
The project for the West Coast will be rolled out over the next three years and will result in up to 100% of the region having highly accurate land information data recorded. Currently less than 2% of region has had LiDAR information recorded.
Mr Mills said that this high-quality elevation data is an enabling resource for the region.
“For example, forestry companies in particular need accurate terrain models for planning new forests, forest harvest and road access. Terrain models will also provide a vital input to assessments of the environmental impacts of forestry consents. Accurate terrain models are also essential to be able to model natural hazards such as coastal inundation and river flooding to assist communities with protection options, or ensure new development occurs in more appropriate locations.”
The following images illustrate the difference high accuracy terrain data can make. The image on the right shows LiDAR-based data, which is needed for accurate flood assessments. The image on the left models the same area using data from the contour-based national dataset, which is not fit for this purpose (or many others).
Hadley Mills | Planning Science and Innovation Manager | West Coast Regional Council | 021 229 0024