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Nelson South

Nelson South comprises a central valley bounded by hills. The valley is subject to inversion layer conditions which trap pollutants during winter months. It contains mainly older residential housing located on the valley bottom or lower hill slopes. It also contains a small light industrial area in the lower valley.

Nelson South has one PM10 monitoring station established in 2000. Historically the Nelson South area has suffered from the highest PM10 concentrations within Nelson City. The monitoring site has a real time PM10 monitor (Thermo 5028i). A meteorological monitoring site is also located approximately 750 metres to the south with the valley and a further meterolgical monitoring site is located on the crest of the Port Hills approximately 1500 metres to the west.

Town Summary
Air quality in this town

PM10 levels in Nelson South have decreased dramatically since monitoring began in 2000. Around 164 kilograms of PM10 is discharged into Nelson South on an average winter's day (2014 emissions inventory). This compares with 373 kilograms per day for 2006. Nelson South is now close to complying with the requirements of the National Environmental Standards for air quality. During 2015 only one exceedance of the National Environmental Standard occurred.

  • Population
  • Number of households

This information is collated from 2013 Census information. The census is the official count of how many people and dwellings there are in New Zealand. Census information is collated every five years.

Sources of air pollution

Home heating Industrial Outdoor burning Traffic Indoor sources Natural sources
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    Sources of PM10 emissions

    Source Annual percentage Winter day percentage
    Home heating Home heating {{summary.emissions.annualhome}}% {{summary.emissions.winterhome}}%
    Industrial Industrial {{summary.emissions.annualindustry}}% {{summary.emissions.winterindustry}}%
    Outdoor burning Outdoor burning {{summary.emissions.annualoutdoor}}% {{summary.emissions.winteroutdoor}}%
    Traffic Traffic {{summary.emissions.annualmotor}}% {{summary.emissions.wintermotor}}%
    Relative breakdown
    Winter day

    The table shows the proportions of the main sources of PM10 in this town from home heating, industrial activities, outdoor burning and traffic.  (Indoor sources and natural sources of air pollutants 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 PM10 emissions, which allows comparison between towns throughout New Zealand.  Some regional council published emissions information might differ if they were prepared in a different year or used another method. Contact your regional council for more information about PM10 and other emissions.

Seasonal variation

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Concentration (µg/m3)

Wind speed (km/h)

Air temperature (℃)

What is this graph showing me?

The graph shows the monthly average PM10 concentration at one representative site in this town for the year selected. In many towns in New Zealand, PM10 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 Nelson South

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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