"The New Zealand Soil Classification was developed in the 1980s. The top three levels of the classification ( orders, groups, and subgroups) were described by Hewitt (1993) and the fourth level (soilforms) by Clayden and Webb (1994). The new classification grew out of the N ew Zealand Genetic Soil Classification and, where possible, preserved its useful features. The new classification was also influenced by local experience in testing the United States soil classification system "Soil Taxonomy" (Soil Survey Staff 1975, 1996; Leamy et al. 1983). The resulting classification represents the best attempt to classify New Zealand soils, at our current state of knowledge."