Takiwa Lakes is a  'geospatial database' for storing lake data in a visual format based on its location, it integrates comprehensive national environmental databases, routine and high-frequency data, and 'big data' from other sensors, into a single platform. 

Takiwa has been set up to provide a scalable and persistent visualization database to benefit a diverse range of stakeholders throughout New Zealand. One of the central tenets of Takiwa is to make data fully open and accessible through the remaining duration of the LERNZ programme, until 2019. The ability to continue Takiwa beyond this time will depend on 'buy in' from stakeholders depending on their perceptions of the usefulness of the platform as a freshwater data repository and visualization tool. Takiwa Lakes is free to use following registration here.



Shorelines of all lakes in New Zealand >1 ha identified by their 'FENZ ID' number. Lake vital statistics including surface area, depth, volume and elevation.

Rivers and streams

Centrelines of every segment of New Zealand's network of rivers and stream, derived from the River Environment Classification (REC) database. Each reach is associated with a stream order value with can be individually selected.


Catchment boundaries of all lakes in New Zealand >1 ha identified by their 'FENZ ID' number. Catchment vital statistics including catchment area, percentage land-use, discharge to lake, sediment load and nutrient load to lake.


Land associated with specific reaches from the River Environment Classification (REC) database. Each subcatchment is associated with a stream order value with can be individually selected.

Water quality measures

Long-term average values for key water quality attributes calculated from regional council monitoring data held by the Ministry for the Environment including Trophic Level Index, Secchi depth, total nitrogen, total phosphorus and chlorophyll a. National Objective Framework classifications relating to phosphorus, nitrogen and Chlorophyll a are also included.

Topographic contours

Topographic contours at either 1:20,000, 1:50,000, 1:100,000 or 1:250,000 scale, colour coded by elevation.


The New Zealand Soil Classification, soil drainage, soil depth and soil texture layers.

Land use

New Zealand Land Cover Database (LCDB-4.1) containing 33 land cover classes, and the New Zealand Land Resource Inventory (NZLRI) which includes rock type, soil, slope, present type and severity of erosion, and vegetation at 1:50,000 scale.

Observational data

A visual representation with access links to the LERNZdb records. LERNZdb is a data repository that supports the storage and retrieval of water quality and biological data measured in lakes and rivers by LERNZ researchers.

Invasive fish records

New Zealand Freshwater Fish Database observations for the occurrence of catfish, goldfish, koi carp, gambusia, perch, rudd and tench. Includes site location, species abundance, fishing method.

Remote sensing

Lake water colour expressed as dominant wavelength (nm) determined from Landsat 8 OLI data from 2013 to 2017 and colour purity which is a measure of the magnitude of the contribution of the light at the dominant wavelength to the perceived colour.

High-frequency data

Real-time data from lake monitoring buoys including temperature, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll fluorescence and phycocyanin.