Creating Futures

What is WISE


The Waikato Integrated Scenario Explorer (WISE) is a dynamic, spatially-explicit computer simulation model that integrates economic, demographic, environmental (climate, hydrology, water quality, biodiversity) and land use (suitability, accessibility, local influence, zoning) information to assess the effects and trade-offs of alternative future development scenarios or the consequences of policy options. The modular platform used to build WISE is transferable to other locations or regions. Similar models are currently developed for Auckland and Wellington (

A short video about the spatial planning tool WISE, the Waikato Integrated Scenario Explorer, has been released. 


 How was WISE developed?

Development of WISE consisted of a four stage process:

  1. Design and system definition
  2. Collection of data and model components
  3. integration and calibration, and
  4. validation and optimisation.


 How WISE works

The overall system design for WISE Version 1.3 (Figure) consists of an integrated set of models that operate across four spatial scales: New Zealand & the World, the Waikato region, cities and districts and local for the land use change (200 m × 200 m grid cells) and terrestrial biodiversity models (100 m × 100 m grid cells). Each model consists of more detailed sub-models, each of which varies in detail, data, and internal structure. WISE operates on an annual time step, with simulations beginning in 2006 and ending in 2050. Arrows represent links or flows among the different models. The direction of the arrow shows the direction of flow.



 Release of WISE version 1.3.0

Following the release of several prototypes, version 1.1 and version 1.2, a new version of WISE has been released in January 2013.  The new WISE version 1.3.0 features a number of improvements on the previous version to enhance its performance and capability. A key new feature is the addition of a ‘Carbon Forestry’ sector to the economic model that will assist the effective development and implementation of Council’s Regional Carbon Strategy. This strategy aims to achieve better environmental outcomes by planting trees on marginal farm land (e.g. steep, erosion-prone) and at the same time benefitting from carbon credits issued by New Zealand’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). Targeted co-benefits include biodiversity, water quality and hydrological flow improvements.

 WISE 1.3.0 can be downloaded on a trial basis, see here >>

See Presentations and Reports on WISE >>