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Invercargill

Invercargill is the southernmost and westernmost city in New Zealand, and one of the southernmost cities in the world. It is the commercial centre of the Southland region and has a population of over 50,000 (Census 2013).

Known as the 'City of Water and Light' due to long summer daylight hours and glorious twilights, and the abundance of our most important natural resource - water, the city reflects the importance of the farming sector it supports. Based on primary produce, Invercargill provides essential support to the surrounding agricultural industry and is also a gateway to some of New Zealand’s most beautiful scenic destinations. There are two air quality monitoring sites, one in Pomona Street and the other in the Glengarry area.

Town Summary
Air quality in this town

Invercargill is a gazetted airshed which exceeds the NES on several occasions during winter. The burning of solid fuels such as wood and coal for domestic heating is widespread during winter and the effects of those emissions can be observed in the winter peaks. A study of the distribution of PM10 across Invercargill concluded that concentrations of PM10 were generally highest in the southern residential suburbs of the city.

  • Population
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  • Number of households
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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
    Annual
    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

  • Show wind speed
  • Show temperature
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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 2
Monitored sites in Invercargill

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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