The Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau provides a unique opportunity for all branches of the geospatial community to communicate and collaborate on new ideas and directions in this exciting industry. This institute aims to bring together Iwi, business, government and researchers to better serve the geospatial needs of New Zealand, allowing us to deliver to the world, new and groundbreaking research and technology.
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New Zealand Inventory of Dams

The aim of the NZID was to verify geotechnical research proposition regarding earth dam infrastructure in New Zealand. The present scope of work focuses on the development of a standardised, comprehensive, and compatible geospatial data framework as a basis for the NZID.

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Envision Scenario Planner

ESP enables the assessment of alternative regeneration scenarios as to their environmental, social and economic impacts at the neighbourhood scale. Stakeholder engagement is a key component of this research, and the team has been working with diverse planning authorities to assess the suitability and usability of the geospatial toolkit and identify areas for improvement considering local specific needs and priorities across the country

About us


The Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau is a world class centre of interdisciplinary geospatial expertise in New Zealand.

With our interdisciplinary partnership-based geospatial research, we aim to assist NZ Inc. to:


  • Leverage latent value from investments in public and other datasets – Deliver expected productivity gains from smarter use of geospatial data, technologies and analytics
  • Grow geospatial capacity, by providing access to a range of types and levels of geospatial capability
  • Realise the opportunities for geospatial innovation and R&D offered by the scale and nature of the New Zealand jurisdiction
  • Provide ongoing global leadership in the rapidly growing field of indigenous GIS.
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What we do

Geospatial Analysis

Geospatial analysis uses geographic data to make complex spatial relationships understandable, either by maps, graphs or statistics.

Urban Planning

Developing new strategies and tools to improve collaborative planning in Aotearoa New Zealand, by including local knowledge from communities and Rūnanga in town planning.

Geographic Information Science

Geographic Information Science uses software such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to collect, manage, analyse and display geographic information.

Geospatial Software Development

Building new tools to help view and understand the complexities of multiple sets of Geographic Information.



Geospatial Research Seminar Series (GRISS) – 30 Sept 2022

Geospatial Research Seminar Series (GRISS) – 30 Sept 2022

Te Kete Kōrero o Ōhinemutu is a Mātauranga Māori map-based tool co-created by the community of Ōhinemutu and the Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau. Ōhinemutu is a village with deep connection to Ngāti Whakaue. Built on the shores of Lake Rotorua, it is famed for its geothermal features and Te Papa-i-Ouru marae. Te Kete Kōrero o Ōhinemutu has been built to hold and share historical narratives of Ōhinemutu as well as current community initiatives. The range of narratives includes traditional, historic, scientific and lived experiences.
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Geospatial Research Seminar Series (GRISS) – 1 June 2022

Geospatial Research Seminar Series (GRISS) – 1 June 2022

The Geospatial Research Institute is pleased to host Dr Barrett Ens. Dr Barrett Ens is currently a member of the Data Visualisation and Immersive Analytics research group at Monash University. He received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Theory from the University of Calgary in 2005, and a Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Manitoba in 2007. He later joined the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Manitoba for his PhD project on 'Spatial Analytic Interfaces'.
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PhD Student Martin Nguyen Wins 2nd Prize for Best Poster at Waterways Conference
Geospatial Research Seminar Series (GRISS) – 26 November 2021

Geospatial Research Seminar Series (GRISS) – 26 November 2021

Speaker: Dr. Philipp Sueltrop, CTO Kea Aerospace The Geospatial Research Institute is pleased to host Dr. Philipp Sueltrop. Philipp is the Chief Technology Officer of the Christchurch-based company Kea Aerospace. Besides leading the technical development team of the unmanned solar-powered aircraft Kea Atmos, he considers himself as a technology explorer combining his passion for aerospace engineering that can provide the means for advantageous scientific, civil and commercial contributions.
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