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Lyttelton is located on the northern edge of Lyttelton Harbour, adjacent to the Port, and is separated from the city of Christchurch by the Port Hills, which rise to approximately 500 metres.

PM10 monitoring was undertaken in June 2003 at various locations to understand air pollution across the town. This monitoring found that in general the concentrations were highest at the Kindergarten site, but were below guidelines at all locations (click on sites).  A more comprehensive investigation was carried out in 2016 with a monitoring site on Norwich Quay.


Town Summary
Air quality in this town

In Lyttelton most of the PM is from the burning of wood or coal for home heating. Other outdoor sources of PM are from traffic, industrial and commercial processes, including the Port, as well as from natural sources. 

While the emissions of PM from Lyttelton are likely to be similar to those from other towns, the topography in Lyttelton is very different to most Canterbury towns, given that Lyttelton is on the side of a steep, south-facing hill. No seasonal variation is shown below, as there is no current PM monitoring. In similar Canterbury towns PM concentrations are highest during winter evenings, when temperatures are coldest and there is little wind.

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 5
Monitored sites in Lyttelton

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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