Soils Information

A wide range of information on soils has been collected over the years - this page provides a summary of the soil maps and soil surveys available on request.

Providing information on the different soil types and how to look after them is the main method by which the Tasman District Council promotes wise management of soil as a resource. Soil maps and soil descriptions are the main data sources.

There are over 140 different soil types in the Tasman Region. Different soils have different properties or characteristics.

These characteristics mean that some soils will be more suitable for certain land uses than others. For example, some areas have soils and a climate particularly suited to growing pasture grasses, and others are more suited to growing fruit trees.

Published Soil Maps

Published maps and information for the district include:

  • The "Waimea Plains Soil Survey" (2017). This report comprised five areas of the Waimea Plains from Queen Street to Brightwater. These areas are Lower Queen Street, Redwood Valley, Waimea West, Brightwater, and Central Plains. A total of 4,497 soil pits and augers were interpreted for soil type and properties across the 6,500 ha survey area. From these, the extent of soils throughout the map were based on indicators that include topography, land use and vegetation. The survey map has a scale of 1:16,000, and has sufficient detail to provide accurate soil and land management information to land owners. For each of the five areas, a soils report has been provided outlining the soil's versatility, physical chracteristics, extent and origin and other useful information.
  • The Golden Bay area (Takaka township, East Takaka and Motupipi, Puramahoi Coastal area and Kotinga) (2016). This mapping was carried out at a scale of 1:20,000, and can be used with confidence to indicate soil type, variability, potential uses and physical characteristics (texture, structure and drainage). The information gathered on each soil includes a profile description and land productivity rating.
  • The “General Soil Survey of the South Island.” (1968). This was carried out to give an overall picture of soil pattern and to provide basic information for predicting future land use and broad fertility needs on a national basis. It was carried out at a scale of 4 miles to 1 inch. (1:250,000). 
  • “Soils and Agriculture of the Waimea County” (1966). This report is a culmination of a number of surveys and maps carried out and compiled over the years dating back to the 1920’s. It included surveys of the flood plains and lower terraces to classify soils for tobacco culture and also included reconnaissance surveys for the General Soil Survey of the South Island. The Soils and Agriculture of the Waimea County was published at a scale of 1:127,000.

These publications are available on request from Council.

New Soil Surveys

New soil survey is currently being carried out by the Tasman District Council in the coastal area between Braeburn and Upper Moutere.

This survey is intended to provide better information on the soil and land versatility within rural 3 zoning, where some of the greatest development pressures exist on the Districts most versatile soils. The survey follows on from the Waimea Plains Soil Survey and is to be compiled using the same methods and sampling density, producing maps of the same scale and function.