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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.

In order to maintain a high air quality standard, the Northland Regional Council developed the Regional Air Quality Plan for Northland. The plan provides guidance to anyone using air as a resource and specifies rules for discharge into the air.

Northland Regional Council currently monitors particulate matter (PM10) within the Whangarei and Marsden Point airsheds. Previously, PM10 has been monitored in Kaitaia and Kerikeri airsheds 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 (NES) for air quality 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 NES.

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.

  • 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 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.