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Bay of Plenty region

Air Quality

Air quality in the Bay of Plenty is generally good, but Rotorua has problems in winter due to smoke from solid-fuel burners used for home heating. In 2015 a ban was put on lighting old indoor open fires to help improve air quality.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council monitors and manages the region's air quality, thereby safeguarding the health of people in our communities. We want to preserve this vital resource so future generations can enjoy good air quality. 

Some discharges in the Bay of Plenty can adversely affect people, such as PM10 (particulate matter that can settle in the bronchi and lungs and cause health problems, especially in the very young or old and those who suffer from respiratory illnesses such as asthma).

Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) monitors PM10 in Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatane. All currently monitored towns are shown on the map to the left.

Rotorua has a high concentration of fine particulates each winter. The regional council works with Rotorua Lakes Council and the community to reduce this concentration so it will meet the national environmental standard of 50 ug/m3 by September 2020. To help achieve this the council continues to offer a range of incentives including the Hot Swap scheme, under which home owners who qualify receive loans to upgrade their old wood burners to cleaner heating.

Regional Summary
PM10 at 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 is the main concern in Rotorua. It can have short- and long-term health effects. Council reports on annual and daily PM10 concentrations every year. Other contaminants include urban open burning, dust, agrichemical spraying and methyl bromide use at the Port of Tauranga.

  • Annual average
  • Highest daily average



% of guideline

What is this graph showing me?

The graph shows the annual average or highest daily average PM10 concentrations for monitored town(s) in this region for the year selected. The PM10 concentrations are shown against the guidelines for air quality, and where concentrations exceed 100% of the guideline this can be a cause for concern, especially if this occurs on a frequent basis. (For a town that has more than one monitoring site, only one representative site is shown here).

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

What is this table showing me?

The table shows the annual average, and the dates of the highest and second highest daily average PM10 concentrations for monitored town(s) in the year selected. The 10-year trend indicates, in terms of PM10, whether the air quality has been improving, showing no measurable change, or declining over the last 10 years.

Towns 3

Towns in the Bay of Plenty region

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