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Northland region

Air Quality

Most of the time Northlanders benefit from a high standard of air quality due to prevailing south-westerly winds, low population density, limited amount of heavy industry and low traffic volumes.

The Northland region is surrounded by ocean and encompasses a relatively small industrial base, low traffic and dispersed rural population that is away from main centres. The main issues affecting air quality in Northland are smoke from home heating, backyard burning, and dust from vehicles travelling on unsealed roads, or activities such as earthworks.

Northland Regional Council currently monitors particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) in Whangārei airshed and PM10 in Marsden Point airshed. Previously, PM10 has been monitored in Kaitāia, Kerikeri, Dargaville airsheds and Kaikohe township using a mobile monitor.

The main purpose of air quality monitoring is to assess whether the region’s air complies with the National Environmental Standards for air quality (NESAQ) and ensure the air we breathe is clean. Air quality monitoring has identified that at times level of pollutants such as PM10 have approached or exceeded the NESAQ.

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.

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 10 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 3

Towns in the Northland region

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