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Weigh in on proposed changes to topo maps

Bushcraft courses still rely on printed maps for navigation training. Photo: Meghan Walker

There are changes in the works for paper maps, and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) wants your input.

With more people turning to digital maps, LINZ is considering changing the price and quality of the printed topo maps. LINZ doesn’t sell as many paper maps anymore, and they’re planning to print fewer maps to reflect decreasing demand.

The current wholesale price for maps is $3.11, which equates to about $8 retail. However, it costs LINZ $5.20 to print, warehouse, and distribute each unit, which has resulted in a $116,000 shortfall each year since 2012, according to a LINZ report. The proposal suggests a new wholesale range from $3.30 to $6.80.

LINZ has proposed three options for consideration: a mixed printing model with a single fee, a mixed model with a dual fee, or the retain the status-quo printing with a single fee. The mixed model would combine offset and plot printing methods; offset printing, which is higher quality, would be used for the best selling sheets, whereas the cheaper plot printing method would be used for the low-selling sheets (those that sell less than 50 units a year).

LINZ prefers the first option (mixed printing with a single fee) which would allow it to keep printing costs to a minimum while still providing high-quality maps. That would raise the wholesale costs to about $7, which LINZ expects to retail for around $12.

“The trusty paper topographic or topo map has long had a place in Kiwi culture, but increasingly people are using digital versions from LINZ’s website,” Land Information Minister Louise Upston said in a statement. “While paper maps are still an essential tool for navigation – after all they don’t run out of batteries – the greater use of digital maps means there has been a reduction in demand.”

LINZ has created an online survey to gain feedback on their proposal; visit www.linz.govt.nz/news/2016-11/linz-seeks-feedback-changes maps.

Submissions close on November 28.