Digital Toolshed is a webinar series guiding you through how to get the best from Our Land and Water's research-backed tools and resources

The Digital Toolshed is a webinar series guiding you through how to get the best from Our Land and Water's research-backed tools and resources. These practical webinars demonstrate what the tool does, who it's for, how to use it, and when and where use is appropriate.

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Upcoming Webinars

Future webinars in the Digital Toolshed series will be posted in this section, and promoted via our eNews and social media channels.

Previous Webinars in the Series

Worker Requirements by Land Use

Labour shortages in the agrifood sector were highlighted when Covid-19 closed borders, but the underlying shortages go back further. For example, the conversion of sheep, beef, and arable farms to dairying in Southland and Canterbury created a demand for staff that exceeded regional workforce availability, requiring people from other regions and overseas. Any proposed land-use change should consider the capacity of the available workforce.

Funded by Our Land and Water through the Workforce Implications of Land-Use Change project, with partners NZIER, MPI, and Northland Inc (the regional economic development agency for Northland), Scarlatti investigated how regional workforce capacity affects the suitability of different land-use types, and strategies and interventions that could mitigate workforce constraints, such as counter-seasonal production.

The resulting Worker Requirements by Land Use dashboard is designed to be a tool for land owners, stewards, managers, catchment groups, hapū, and rural professionals to estimate the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) needed for different land-use scenarios, as well as how this workforce requirement varies seasonally. Additionally, the dashboard can suggest land uses which complement a selected land use(s) to smooth out seasonal variance in workforce requirements.

View this webinar for a practical demonstration of the tool and discussion from an end-user perspective, with speakers:

  • Kenny Bell - Senior Research Manager, Scarlatti
  • Alex Sharples - Associate Analyst, Scarlatti
  • Declan Barrett - Associate, Scarlatti
  • Luke Beehre - Northland Inc

Changing Climate: Disease risk and economic modelling

The Changing Climate: Disease Risk & Costs tool provides a portal into the future for orchardists, farmers, investors and planners that want to understand how climate change may impact plant disease risk in different parts of New Zealand.

This digital tool provides a visual farm-level view of how climate change may impact the risk of selected plant diseases in different parts of the country. It translates this risk into financial terms, helping people understand how changing risk may change the cost of managing specific plant diseases in their area.

Understanding how climate change may affect plant disease risk in coming decades makes it easier for growers, investors and industry to consider what mitigations and other actions might make the most sense as part of their climate adaptation plans.

At launch the diseases included in the tool are those that primarily impact the apple and viticulture industries: Apple Fireblight, Grape Powdery Mildew and Grape Botrytis. The choice of disease models to include at launch has been guided by industry stakeholders and the availability of robust data and New Zealand-specific disease models.

Funded by Our Land and Water through the Crop Disease Under Climate Change project, the tool is a collaborative effort between Plant & Food Research (disease models), NIWA (climate models), the Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit (economics work), Applied Research & Technologies (reviewing the output of the disease models), and ag-tech experts HortPlus, which combined all of the data into an interactive online GIS tool. Industry group leaders representing pipfruit, viticulture, kiwifruit, forestry, nuts, iwi, avocado, arable, and education sectors also informed the tools development.

Click video title to watch.

This webinar video includes a practical demonstration of the tool and discussion from an end-user perspective.

  • Dr John Saunders – Senior Research Officer Agribusiness & Economics Research Unit, Lincoln University
  • Mike Barley – Director at HortPlus NZ Ltd
  • Kumar Vetharaniam - Senior ScientistThe New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited
  • David Bullivant – Marlborough Area Viticultural Manager, Babich Wines
  • Online tool access

Find Data: Digital Gateway

The Find Data platform aims to streamline access to vital land and water information for a diverse range of users. A 'minimum viable product' is now open to registered users for beta testing, with further development planned.

Over 12,000 publicly available land and water datasets can now be interrogated via an AI chatbot, which can recommend datasets relevant to a user's enquiry.

The Find Data platform was developed to provide fast and efficient access to land and water data by the Kuaha Matihiko: Digital Gateway project, a collaboration between Waka Digital, Massey University, and AgResearch.

  • Registration link for new users of Find Data
  • Mark Berry – Senior Developer, Waka Digital
  • Aaron McCallion – Executive Director, Waka Digital
  • Owen Darby – CEO, PHYTRAC

Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) Framework

The Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) Framework shows the impact of land use changes on economic, social, cultural and environmental indicators, allowing exploration of scenarios where land use is changing for a specified region of New Zealand.

Using two case study regions, the Ashburton district and Mosgiel, the particular issues examined to develop the framework were the impact of land use changes associated with nitrate leaching and peri-urban development.

Developed alongside key stakeholders using research from the Measuring Full Impacts of Land-Use Change project, this framework provides a consistent framework for evaluating scenarios about future developments in land use.

  • Access the IIA Framework tool and the Getting Started Guide
  • Professor Caroline Saunders – Distinguished Professor and Director of the Agribusiness & Economics Research Unit, Lincoln University
  • Dr John Saunders – Senior Research Officer Agribusiness & Economics Research Unit, Lincoln University
  • Rich Densem – Farmer, Greyburn Farm, North Canterbury

Healthy Waterways Register

The Healthy Waterways Land Management Actions Register is for all land holders, land managers, kaitiaki and catchment groups who sustainably manage their lands.

This register is New Zealand’s national database that allows you to record and report land management actions that help improve waterway health. Knowing the extent of these actions at catchment level will allow us, eventually, to link the actions done on land to improved water quality outcomes.

The register presents information at a catchment scale, recognising the confidentiality and privacy of individual property owners. It is also set up to receive data from catchment collectives, industries and councils. Compiled catchment information will contribute to a new module being developed for the Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) platform.

This webinar provides the opportunity to learn more about how to utilise this tool to support your strategy.

This tool is now accessible at and was developed using research from the Register of Land Management Actions project.

Monitoring Freshwater Improvements

This research has developed an interactive WebApp to help detect improvements in rivers, lakes and groundwater, and to help select appropriate monitoring technologies that enable early detection of improvement. The research explores which monitoring designs best facilitate a te ao Māori-framed approach to detecting the effects of whenua-based mitigation actions on wai Māori.

These WebApp tools will help freshwater stewards and kaitiaki decide what to measure, where, when, with what technology, and understand how much it will cost.

Over time, these monitoring programmes will provide information on successes and failures of past actions, helping prioritise the most effective actions to improve freshwater quality, so our rivers more quickly return to good health. 

The WebApp provides new tools and resources to decide what to measure, where, when, with what technology, and how much it will cost. It is supported by open-source code and is freely available.

Visit to access the WebApp and resources from the Monitoring Freshwater Improvement Actions project.

Data Supermarket

We can grow a much greater range of food and fibre in New Zealand. But what will grow well, where?

The Data Supermarket is a new online storehouse of data about the ingredients, food and fibre we can grow in New Zealand, now and in the future.

This reliable and robust data is freely available to everyone planning or providing advice on land-use options in New Zealand. The wide range of new datasets provide a broad understanding of the benefits and consequences of many land use opportunities.

A large team of researchers from multiple institutes and scientific disciplines produced these datasets as part of the Land Use Opportunities: Whitiwhiti Ora research programme.

This information is now accessible at


The LandscapeDNA information hub gives you access to interactive maps that allow you to explore land right down to property scale, and understand which contaminants are most susceptible to loss, how they travel, and where they end up.

These insights allow farmers to identify actions they can take to minimise water contamination risks from their property.

In this webinar, you will learn to use LandscapeDNA to identify key water quality contaminants for a farm and the contributing catchment area, match land management and intervention actions to the contaminant flow pathway, and explore the actions library for more information on mitigations.

This tool is now accessible at and was developed using research from the Physiographic Environments of New Zealand project.

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