Geographic Boundary Viewer user guide

This is the user guide for Stats NZ’s Geographic Boundary Viewer, which shows statistical and administrative geographic boundaries for New Zealand. The Geographic Boundary Viewer uses map and image services developed using ArcGIS Server, ArcGIS Online, and WebApp Builder for ArcGIS.

For more help, email: for assistance from the Stats NZ geospatial team.

What’s available

The following boundaries are available in the Geographic Boundary Viewer for:

Statistical geographies:
  • meshblock
  • statistical area 1
  • statistical area 2
  • urban rural.
Administrative geographies:
  • general and Māori electoral district
  • regional council
  • constituency and Māori constituency
  • territorial authority
  • territorial authority subdivision
  • ward
  • community board and local board.
Other geographies:
  • area unit
  • urban area.
Contextual basemaps:
  • NZ imagery (satellite) 
  • NZ Canvas Light
  • NZ Canvas Dark
  • No Basemap.

Map navigation tools

The search bar allows you to search for an address (using the ESRI World Geocoder), meshblock code (searches against the latest annual pattern), or statistical area 2 (SA2) code or name.

The layer list and legend buttons (Layer list and Legend) allow you to toggle between a list of the layers or the legend. These display on the right hand side of the screen as a table of contents. Double clicking either button will close the table of contents.

Use the map navigation tools to pan, zoom to any region on the map by placing the mouse at the desired location on the map. The +/- buttons change the zoom level, while the home button repositions the screen to the start-up position.


 Basemap gallery

Basemap – change the contextual basemap image. 


Measure – use to calculate the area or length of polygons and lines you have manually drawn on the map.


Bookmark – zoom to a specific area, enter a name in the text box, and save the current map extent as a bookmark. 


Information – provides information about the tool.


Print – print a map or export to a graphics file. 


The following Basemaps are available:

  • New Zealand Canvas Light – default street map
  • New Zealand Canvas Dark
  • New Zealand Imagery – satellite imagery layer
  • no basemap.


Basemap instructions
  • Click the Basemap galleryBasemaps button to open the Basemaps panel.
  • Move the mouse over the desired basemap and click to select. The map will be refreshed automatically.
  • To change the basemap, repeat steps above.

GBV basemap view


Use the search box in the top right-hand corner to do a search within the spatial data and then zoom to that location.


The following geographic searches are available:

  • place (address, road name, place name)
  • meshblock code
  • statistical area 2 code or name.
Search instructions
  • Click the down arrow button on the search bar to drop down the list of search geographic location types. You can search for a place (eg address, road name, town, etc) or by meshblock (code only) or statistical area 2 code or name.
  • Move your mouse over the desired search option and click to select. The search type will be changed.
  • In the search text box, start typing in the name of the geographic location you want to find. As you type, the search will start to generate a list of possible results.

    SA2 search
  • Click the desired search result in the list and the map will zoom to that location.
    Search zoom

  • The attributes of the selected search result are displayed in a pop-up window.
  • pop up

Layer list

Layers instructions

1. Click on the Layer list button to open the Layer List.

2. Under the layer list are Operational layers (eg territorial authority, meshblock) and their sub-layers (annual boundaries). To turn on an operational layer, click the check box next to it Check box. Uncheck it to turn it off.

3. To turn on a sub-layer, make sure the operational layer is selected, then check the sub-layer you want to display.

Sub layers

4. To change between layers, uncheck the box of the layer currently being shown and tick another one.

5. Clicking the ellipsis Ellipsis will allow you to change an operational layer's transparency, its draw order or its place in the layer list. Clicking a sub-layer's ellipsis will allow you to turn pop-ups on and off, and also provide a link to metadata specific to that layer.

6. Clicking the white arrows Arrows at the top of the layer list will collapse the list and enable more of the map to be viewed. 


1. Clicking anywhere on the map will provide a pop-up of the sub-layers currently turned on. Use the arrows to switch between layers if multiple layers are selected.
Pop ups

Published 7 December 2017

  • StatsMaps.
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