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Marlborough region

Air Quality

Air quality in Marlborough is generally good but Blenheim has an air quality problem during winter, most of it due to home heating. All current monitored towns are shown.

Marlborough’s air story

Air quality in Marlborough is generally good. The main source of air pollution in Marlborough towns is smoke from home heating. Other sources of contaminants may include industry, traffic and rural burning, as well as natural sources (sea salt, dust and pollen). Blenheim has an air quality problem during winter with the main source at this time due to home heating. During the winter our cold, still, frosty days mean the smoke from home heating isn’t blown away and gets trapped until the air warms up or the wind picks up.

The particulates from smoke (and from sea salt, dust and cars) are known as PM10 and these tiny particles can get deep in to our lungs and cause health issues for some people. During winter in Blenheim, daily average PM10 concentrations can exceed national guidelines. The National Environmental Standards require no more than one day per year in Blenheim when PM10 is greater than 50 µg/m3, from 1 September 2016.

You can find information for all current monitored towns below and see how they compare from year to year, and against the national guidelines. Marlborough District Council monitor air quality in Blenheim at one site in Redwoodtown, but has historically undertaken monitoring in other suburbs to understand air pollution across Blenheim. Trend data on PM10 for Blenheim has shown no measurable decline or improvement in air quality.

We all have a role to play in achieving cleaner, healthier air to breathe. Marlborough District Council continues to work with the community to improve air quality and meet national health-based guidelines.

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 Marlborough towns. Exposure to PM10 can have short and long term health effects. We report on annual and daily PM10 concentrations each year. Trends are reported for Blenheim only since this is the only site we have 10 or more years of PM10 concentrations. 

  • 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 1

Towns in the Marlborough region

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