Creating Futures

What's New


Scenarios to Support Future Proof Review

WISE V1.4 is currently being used to explore a range of scenarios with Councils involved in the review of Future Proof (Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council and Waipa District Council).

Scenario planning and then exploration of key scenarios in WISE is being used to help these Councils review some of their strategic thinking and policy approaches. This is primarily focused on the spatial management of growth both within each council area and between Councils.

When outputs from this work are finalised with respective Councils examples will be loaded onto this website as case studies.


Waikato Demographic and Economic Projections

WISE V1.4 has been used in a project to develop land use, demographic and economic projections for the Waikato Region (2013-2063). Projections include land use change, population dynamics (population, household, labour force) and economic development (value-added, employment).

The results of the project are provided in a Technical Report that outlines the process and resulting data for land use, demographic and economic projections for the Waikato region, from a baseline in 2013 to 2063 (50 years time horizon).  An overview is provided initially and then each projection output process is outlined. The projections are at a Census Area Unit (CAU) level, and include land use change, population dynamics (population, household, labour force) and economic development (value-added, employment).

To view Waikato Regional Council Technical Report for these projections Click Here


Version 1.4

A significant upgrade of the WISE model has ben undertaken during 2015. Following on from improvements in V1.3.1 the new version (V1.4) will have some major improvements. These include:

  • New modelling start date of 2013 and includes an updates starting land use map for 2013
  • Increased resolution - WISE V1.4 will work at 100x100m cell size (4 x more cells than V1.3.1)
  • Up-to-date zonign and growth strategy information for the regional territorial authorities
  • Updated population projection data, economic data, and future roading networks
  • Increased functionality with a land use suitability tool and Monte Carlo analysis capability

The model update is near completion and is expected to be available for download in March 2016.


2013 Land Use Layer for Waikato Region

A new spatial layer (raster) of land use across the Waikato Region in 2013 has been developed. This layer will be a key part of the update of the WISE model to V1.4 early in 2016.

The 2013 land use layer was derived based on an analysis of several data set including: Land Cover Database (LCDB4), Regional Property Valuation database, and Agribase. A validation process of inital land use outputs was undertaken with staff from the regional territorial authorities.

The 2013 land use layer is a key part of the WISE update to V1.4. It allows the new version to have a modelling starting date of 2013 (previoulsy 2006). This new land use layer is also at a spatial resolution of 100x100m to support an increase in modelling resoultion in WISE V1.4.

After meeting the internal requirements at WRC for 'corporate dataset' this land use layer will also be available in the near future for other regional or local projects.

Example of 2013 Land use in Northern Waikato



Release of next WISE version in March 2015

The next update for WISE (version 1.3.1) is scheduled for release in March 2015.

The new version will include updated population data (2013 Census), economic data, land use suitability, zoning and road network data.  

Other enhancements such as new spatial layers on selected ecosystem services and dynamic linkages between economic and population models are also considered.

The new version will also be user-friendlier.   



User Group - Potential impacts of Auckland growth

To assist their submission on the Auckland City Plan, Waikato Regional Council staff were interested in the potential impacts of projected growth on the northern part of the Waikato Region

WISE was used to run several plausible scenarios using projected economic and population growth figures for Auckland. The scale and scope of cross boundary impacts were highly dependant on the assumptions made about growth nodes in south Auckland (in the absense of structure plans) and cross boundary population movements.

This highlighted the need for on going collaboration bewteen the two councils in future growth projection and plan activities that relate to cross-boundary flow of population, economic activitiy and resources.


Technical Users - Developing further capability

A Technical User group of staff from Auckland City, Waikato and Wellington Regional Councils meet twice a year to discuss technical aspects of integrated spacial modeling with the aim of building capability for spatial modeling and decision support for local government.

Integrated Scenario Explorer (ISE) modes have been established for both Auckland and Wellington regions under the SP2 research project. These are very similar to WISE.

At the November workshow technical users discussed use of economic , population and transport elements of the W(ISE) models and their future development options.

See the Presentations:

- Population Model

- Economic Model



New Decision Support Systems Directory

A web based directory has been developed through an Envirolink Tools project. This directory provides metadata and case studies for a wide range of decision support systems (DSS’s) that can be used by Regional Councils. The directory is now live and available for people to use. WISE is one of the DSS’s listed in this directory.  To find out more <Click Here>


Release of Version 1.3.0

WISE version 1.3.0 has been released in early 2013.  This new version has improved the the user interface for the scenario manager to make it easier to use.  It has also updated the district boudary maps to show post-2010 boundaries and updated the parameters in the population model. 

The Techncial Specification Report can be viewed and downloaded here.

The Monte Carlo tool has also been added to WISE. Other additional functionality includes: support for GeoTIFF raster file format, functionality to export a project, zonal accessibility and Carbon Farming and Future Proof scenarios.

The next WISE up-date (version 1.4.0) is scheduled for release in July 2014. 


WISE User Group Workshops

Now that the research is ‘completed’ the focus of the work is on exploring how WISE can add value for WRC’s planning and decision-making and building staff capability and capacity for spatial planning.

A series of user workshops have been held at Waikato Regional Council over the last six months. These have introduced key staff to the concepts of spatial planning, shown case studies of spatial planning in action, and provide hands on experience with WISE.

Getting Started - Workshop 1 Tutorial Manual (2MB)

Presentation from RIKs - October 2012 Workshop (3MB)


Presentation to International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (ieMSs)

“Land use change from pastoral farming to carbon forestry: Identifying trade-offs between ecosystem services using economic-ecological spatial modelling” was the title of a paper presented recently at the 2012 Congress which is based on land use and carbon farming scenarios that were evaluated using WISE.   

To see proceedings of Congress - Click Here