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Air Quality

Overall air quality in Taranaki is excellent, thanks to its windy and exposed environment, dispersed and small population, relatively light industry and low vehicle numbers. 

Taranaki is one of only two New Zealand regions that have never exceeded national air quality standards. So it has never been required to create a 'gazetted airshed' in response to air quality issues. Because the Taranaki Regional Council has continued to demonstrate that the region does not generally experience issues with air quality, Ministry for the Environment monitoring is not compulsory in Taranaki as it is in other parts of New Zealand with air quality issues.

With air discharges from industry and agriculture well regulated and no widespread change in the nature of regional emissions, there are no significant pressures on air quality in the region. Air quality data has been gathered and maintained for more than 20 years at up to 20 representative sites, including urban, industrial, rural, coastal and pristine areas. In general, monitoring locations are chosen because they have the most potential for adverse impacts as a result of surrounding land use. This gives a useful indication of the state of the region's air quality and whether there is any justification for further investigation using much more expensive techniques stipulated in the National Environmental Standards. Consistently good results from the Council’s air quality monitoring programme confirm that the screening approach is justified and cost-effective.
Most air emissions in Taranaki are diffuse and from natural sources - vegetation, land cover, farm animals and sea-spray drift. They also come from industry, homes and motor vehicles. Point-source discharges (from a single large source) are more obvious and generally come from industry and farms with housed livestock (such as piggeries and poultry sheds). The potential effects of air emissions range from amenity effects (such as haze, smoke, or offensive odours) to potential or actual negative impacts on human and ecosystem health.

Regional Summary
PM10at towns in this region

The most significant air pollutant in New Zealand are small airborne particles in our air (known as particulate matter). Particulate pollutants are of most concern in New Zealand because of their high concentrations in some of our towns. Exposure to high levels of airborne particle pollutants has the potential to cause respiratory and cardiovascular issues. View a factsheet on why air quality is important here.

PM10 monitoring is conducted at intermittent intervals at various one-off sites in New Plymouth and Stratford. Previous monitoring of  PM10 representative sites showed that on a regional basis, Taranaki has no significant air quality issues in relation to PM10. Airshed monitoring is not required in Taranaki because it has never exceeded national air quality standards.

PM monitoring history at towns in this region

  • Annual average
  • Highest daily average
  • Exceedance

What is this showing me?

The graph enables you to view the annual average and highest daily average concentrations of PM10 and number of exceedance days for the year selected. The results are compared to the relevant air quality standard or guideline (denoted by the red horizontal line). See this factsheet for more information about the PM10 measurements, and the standards and guidelines used to report on. 

Values above the standard or guideline shown can be a cause for concern as short- or long-term exposure to high PM10 can have health impacts.  See this factsheet about why air quality is important and factors that influence air quality. 

The trends in the table below indicate whether the PM10 concentrations have been improving, showing no measurable change, or declining over the 10-years prior to the year selected. (For towns that have more than one monitoring site, a representative site is shown).

Data table PM10
Towns 10-year Trend annual average (µg/m³) Highest daily average (µg/m³) 2nd highest daily average (µg/m³) Number of exceedances
Towns 2

Towns in the Taranaki region

Select the town you'd like to see information on by clicking the buttons below or navigate using the map.