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Gisborne region

Air Quality

Air quality in the Tairawhiti region is generally good due to its relatively isolated geographical nature, small population and light industrial base. It does not currently have a gazetted air shed to control emissions. However, this may change in the future as the Gisborne city urban area has recently experienced deteriorating air quality during the colder winter months that have exceeded the national standards for air quality for particulate levels due to home heating by wood burners.  

There is one permanent air quality monitoring site in Gisborne for the Particulate Matter (PM) pollutant of concern – PM10 and PM2.5 and this is located at Gisborne Boys High.  The daily average of PM10 are usually below the National Environmental Standard of 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air. However, there are times during the day when these levels can be elevated above the health guidelines for short periods of time.  This relates to peak times for car use (school drop offs, pick ups and commutes to and from work) and people starting up their wood burners/fires in the evening during winter.  There is a higher risk of exceeding this 24 hour average threshold during winter when the air is cold and still and a lot of urban households are using their home woodfires.  

The PM monitoring site at Oates Street near the Airport but was decommissioned in 2018.

Regional Summary
PM10and PM2.5at 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 and PM2.5 are the main air quality pollutants of concern in the Tairawhiti region. With the installation of a more reliable sensor in 2019, the levels of PM in 2020 were recorded as much higher than previous years. The permanent site is located at Gisborne Boys High School and has been operating since 2004. The main contributors to PM within the Tairawhiti region are woodburners for home heating, outdoor burning (rural and urban), entrained dust from pastoral and horticultural production, sea salt and vehicle emissions from a large diesel fleet base.

 

PM monitoring history at towns in this region

  • Annual average
  • Highest daily average
  • Exeedance
Showing:
PM10

Guideline


Concentration






% of guideline

What is this showing me?

The graph shows the annual average and highest daily average PM10 concentrations, and number of exceedance days for the year selected. These are shown against air quality guidelines of 20 µg/m³ for annual averages and 50 µg/m³ for daily averages. The World Health Organisation published new guidelines in September 2021 of 15 µg/m³ for annual averages and 45 µg/m³ for daily averages. Values above the guidelines can be a cause for concern as exposure to high PM10 values can cause short and long term health effects. The trends in the table below indicate whether the PM10 concentrations have been improving, showing no measurable change, or declining over the previous 10-years. (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
PM2.5

Guideline


Concentration






% of guideline

What is this showing me?

The graph shows the annual average and highest daily average PM2.5 concentrations, and number of exceedance days for the year selected. These are shown against air quality guidelines of 10 µg/m³ for annual averages and 25 µg/m3 for daily averages. The World Health Organisation published new guidelines in September 2021 of 5 µg/m³ for annual averages and 15 µg/m³ for daily averages. Values above the guidelines can be a cause for concern as exposure to high PM2.5 values can cause short and long term health effects. The trends in the table below indicate whether the PM2.5 concentrations have been improving, showing no measurable change, or declining over the previous 10-years. (For towns that have more than one monitoring site, a representative site is shown).

Data table PM2.5
Towns 10-year Trend annual average (µg/m³) Highest daily average (µg/m³) 2nd highest daily average (µg/m³) Number of exceedances
Towns 1

Towns in the Gisborne region

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