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New Plymouth

New Plymouth is a coastal city lying due north of Mt. Taranaki (2815 m) and on the northern coastline of the Taranaki region.

The topography of the region consists of a ring plain surrounding Mount Taranaki, with hill country running along the eastern side of the region, 20 km from New Plymouth at its nearest point. The hill country is sparsely populated. New Plymouth, with a population of 74,184, is the region's only major city. The region has an area of 723,610 square kilometres and a population and a population of 109,608 (2013 Census).

Town Summary
Air quality in this town

By comparison with other regions, Taranaki has a relatively low population density, an exposed landscape, minimal vehicle congestion and no significant industrial zones with air polution issues. The predominant fuel is natural gas, used in petrochemical industries and for thermal electricity generation.There is some domestic use of fire wood. Air quality monitoring had been conducted at intermittent intervals at various sites in New Plymouth. Previous monitoring sites for PM10 were located at New Plymouth Girls' High School, the corner of Devon Street and Currie Street, the New Plymouth District Council building, TSB Bank, Bayly Road and Pacific International Hotel Management School (PIHMS). Results from air quality monitoring showed that Taranaki has no significant air quality issues in relation to PM10.

  • 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

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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 6
Monitored sites in New Plymouth

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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