Reinventing Bioregions

I am pondering whether to stick with our current set of bioregions for the rebuild of this website.
Wikipedia says that a bioregion is intermediate between an ecozone and an ecosystem.
Various branches of life and earth science define "bioregion" differently. In the WWF list, New Zealand is one complete bioregion. In another classification, the entire world only has seven bioregions.

Permaculture has its own definition, which definitely has social and cultural overtones instead of being purely nature based. This is significant to our website, as we want to connect communities of interest. While ecologically coastal Taranaki is very similar to coastal Waikato, the human communities are not connected. On the other hand, within the space of 10km between our house and our nearest village, change of altitude means that climate and crop regimes are quite different, but we are definitely part of that community.

Our current regions are based on New Zealand's Regional Councils, whose boundaries are defined by river catchments. This produces a few oddities, such as the Manawatu projecting into what most people regard as Wairarapa, since the river cuts through what would otherwise be considered the main divide. And some regions, such as Northland, are huge. How much connection is there between Kaitaia and Wellsford? Or Rodney and Franklin, separated by the urban mass of Auckland?

On the other hand, dividing the country into too-small regions would mean fewer permaculturalists in each region, and regional filters on the site might be too restrictive.
Does anyone have an alternative list of regions as a starting point?



This is loosely based on communities of interest, travel times and a rough guess at density of permie/sustainable activity.

Far North & Hokianga (incl Waipoua and Doubtless bay)
Northland (Whāngarei and Bay of Islands, Dargaville)
Kaipara & Rodney (rural north Auckland and the southernmost bits of Northland District)
Auckland Urban
Franklin and Hunua (from the Waikato river to Manukau Harbour)
Waikato (Central and Southern Waikato, Hauraki Plains)
Coromandel (extending as far as Thames and Waihi)
Bay of Plenty (Incl Rotorua)
East Coast / Tairawhiti
Wairoa / Mahia
Whaingaroa / Kawhia (The west coast from Port Waikato down to the Awakino river)
Central Plateau (Taupo - Tokoroa - Ohakune - Waiouru)
Hawkes Bay (Central and southern)
Wairarapa (approx from Woodville south)
Golden Bay
Nelson / Motueka ("Tasman" excluding Golden Bay)
Buller / Māwhera
South Canterbury
Central Otago
Coastal Otago
Southland / Fiordland

I'm wondering if there should be a Waitomo to fill the gap between Waikato and Taranaki - it would include Te Kuiti, Benneydale, Piopio and possibly Otorohanga. Possibly also Hurunui to make Canterbury smaller?
When it comes to events filters etc, we will try to use some fuzzy logic to make listings include neighbouring regions, reducing that downside of making regions too small.

Feedback welcome