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Library Subject Guides

Forestry: Soil Resources

Guide to Forestry at the University of Canterbury


Jessen, M.R., Crippen, T.F., Page, M.J., Rijkse, W.C., Harmsworth, G.R., & McLeod, M. (1999) Land use capability classification of the Gisborne - East Coast region: a report to accompany the second-edition, New Zealand land resource inventory (Landcare Research science series 21). Wellington New Zealand: Manaaki Whenua Press.  Retrieved from:

Soil Resources

Here are some resources for soils

Getting started - resources on New Zealand soils

Unlike fast changing areas of research such as imaging technologies, many important publications on soils were published several decades ago. For this reason, it is not recommended that you limit your search by date. The following references are useful starting places for finding out about the soils of New Zealand, particularly Canterbury:
A good place to start if you're new to the subject and want to get an overview


NOTE: course texts can be searched from the Library catalogue using a 'Course Code' search

Browsing the Library Catalogue:

Try a subject search: Soils--New Zealand or Soil Science--New Zealand

New Zealand Government Resources

There are the government departments responsible for soils in NZ:

  • Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI)
    Responsible issues affecting New Zealand's primary production sector - agriculture, horticulture and forestry - this includes issues affecting soils and nutrients. A range of publications are available on mangement of NZ soils. The 'Soils and Nutrients' section of the MPI website has information about NZ soils and their management.
  • Department of Conservation (DOC) 
    Responsible for conservation of New Zealand's environment, including geological, landform, and soil features.
  • Ministry for the Environment (MFE)
    Reports on the state of the New Zealand environment and the way that environmental laws and policies work in practice. 
  • Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE)  
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) is an independent Officer of Parliament appointed for a five-year term under the Environment Act 1986. This site provides information and advice on environmental issues including the sustainability of farming practices in New Zealand.
  • Local Government New Zealand (Regional Councils)
    Regional Councils are responsible for representing their areas to central government. Part of their responsibility is resource management and the quality of soils. A list of all New Zealand Regional Councils.

Crown Research Institutes (CRIs)

Eight Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) were formed in 1992, when the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) was disestablished. CRIs are Crown-ownded companies created to undertake scientific research and related activities, they operate as stand-alone companys. Many of the CRIs have interests in, and responsibilities for, NZ soils:

  • AgResearch
    Established to assist the agricultural sector of New Zealand. Areas of scientific research include soil and land use.
  • ESR 
    ESR provide scientific and research services to a range of groups including the environmental sector. They have a scientific programme looking at water management in New Zealand which has produced a number of publications.
  • Landcare Research
    The purpose of Landcare Research is to protect and enhance the land environment. The 'New Zealand Soils Portal' includes information on soil analyses, descriptions, maps and the national soils database.
  • NIWA
    The effect of such variables as climate, sedimination and irrigation on soils are research interests of NIWA.
    SCION is the CRI responsible for research and development in the forestry, wood production sectors.

Australian Governmental Resources

United States Governmental Resources

Associations & Organisations

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