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Whakatāne has the third-highest population for urban areas in the Bay of Plenty. It is mainly residential, but has a large factory on the north-western boundary and a small industrial area to the south. There is one long-term PM10 monitoring site in a central location.

Air quality is monitored at the central King St site, which is surrounded by a small commercial area to the east and residential areas. Historically monitoring has also been done at Bay of Plenty Regional Council's premises in Quay St and in the western area of the town, looking at emissions from the factory.

A recent emission inventory exercise by Wilton (2023) is available upon request from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Town Summary
Air quality in this town

Whakatāne's air quality varies, with a noticeable peak in PM10 in winter due to domestic heating emissions.  

Drainage winds and coastal breezes have meant no exceedances of national environmental standards have been recorded at this site. The site's proximity to the coast means recorded sea salt events have been associated with on-shore winds and elevated seas.

Sources of air pollution

Home heating Industrial Outdoor burning Traffic Indoor sources Natural sources
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    • 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 Whakatane

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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