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Tauranga has the Bay of Plenty's highest urban population. It is mainly residential, with some commercial and industrial areas. The largest industrial area is centred around the Port of Tauranga and the air quality in this area is monitored through a separate Mt Maunganui airshed due to a number of air quality issues.

Tauranga has one active long-term PM10 monitoring site in Otumoetai, shown on the map to the left.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council monitors air quality at a residential site on the grounds of Otumoetai Primary School. The school also uses the site and information collected as a teaching aid. Historically, monitoring has been undertaken at other residential, traffic and industrial areas to understand air quality patterns comply with national environmental standards.

A recent emission inventory exercise by Wilton (2019) is available upon request from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.


Town Summary
Air quality in this town

Tauranga's air quality varies between locations. Data for the Mount Maunganui industrial area is reported separately for the Mount Maunganui airshed

PM10 at the Otumoetai monitoring site rises slightly in winter due to domestic heating. Summer peaks are recorded here due to its proximity to the coast and exposure to sea salt. Traffic also plays a part. Daily averages at this site are well below the ambient National Environmental Standards.

The Otumoetai Road site was established in 1997 as part of long-term State of the Environment monitoring. This site has been selected as the representative Town Summary due to the long-standing nature of these records.

Sources of air pollution

Home heating Industrial Outdoor burning Traffic Indoor sources Natural sources
  • Show Hide
    • Sources of PM10 emissions
    • Sources of PM2.5 emissions
    • Sources of NOx emissions
    Source Annual percentage Winter day percentage
    Home heating Home heating {{emissions.annualhome}}% {{emissions.winterhome}}%
    Industrial Industrial {{emissions.annualindustry}}% {{emissions.winterindustry}}%
    Outdoor burning Outdoor burning {{emissions.annualoutdoor}}% {{emissions.winteroutdoor}}%
    Traffic Traffic {{emissions.annualmotor}}% {{emissions.wintermotor}}%
    Relative breakdown
    Winter day

    The table shows the proportions of the main sources of PM10, PM2.5 and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in this town from home heating, industrial activities, outdoor burning and traffic.  (Indoor, natural and shipping sources are not included in this breakdown). 

    These values come from 2013 data sourced from MfE’s data service.  Consistent methodology was used to calculate these estimates of PM and NOx emissions, which allows comparison between towns throughout New Zealand.  Regional council or unitary authority published emissions information might differ if they were prepared in a different year or used another method. Contact your regional council or unitary authority for more information about PM and other emissions in your area.

Seasonal variation

  • Show wind speed
  • Show temperature



Wind speed (km/h)

Air temperature (℃)

What is this graph showing me?

The graph shows the monthly average PM concentrations at one representative site in this town for the year selected. In many towns in New Zealand, PM peaks in the winter when air temperatures and wind speeds are lowest as more people heat their homes during colder weather, and still conditions mean that there is no wind to disperse the air pollutants.

Sites 1
Monitored sites in Tauranga

Monitored sites in this town can be categorised according to location:

  • Residential: Air monitoring site is in a suburban area with a relatively high population density, but not close to a busy road or industry.
  • Traffic: Air monitoring site is very close to a busy road or intersection.
  • Industry: Air monitoring site is close to industry, including heavy commercial and processing factories.
  • Coastal: Air monitoring site is close to the coast where there are high levels of sea salt in the air.
  • NES: A site monitored for compliance with the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (NES-AQ).

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