The Waikato Region is the 4th largest in New Zealand, both in terms of area (25,000 km2) and population (430,800 – June 2014). The climate of the region is mild and humid (average daily maximum and minimum temperatures are 24.3 and 13 oC in February and 13.6 and 3.9 oC in July). The average annual rainfall is 1190 mm.
Large areas of volcanic parent rock dominate the soils surrounding the Taupo Volcanic Zone and Coromandel Peninsula, while to the west of the Coromandel, including around the city of Hamilton, rivers have laid down rich alluvial sediments. The western and central hill country of the Waikato Region is dominated by sedimentary rocks such as limestone, sandstone, greywacke and mudstone. Pastoral farming (60%) and exotic forestry (12%) dominate the regions land uses.
Below: DNA has already been collected from over 520 soil samples located at 105 sites in the Waikato Region