Search all sites near me now
Search your favourite swimming spots

Wellington Region

Air Quality

Air quality in the Greater Wellington region is generally very good. Some areas have problems during winter mostly due to home heating. The Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) currently monitors air quality in five different areas of the region using six monitoring stations.



The main source of air pollution in the Wellington Region is smoke from home heating, but industry, traffic, rural fires and natural sources such as sea salt and dust can also influence air quality.  Fires for home heating can lead to high levels of air pollution in some areas during winter.

Tiny particles from wood smoke and traffic can affect people's health.  We measure levels of these particles using two indicators: PM10 and PM2.5. PM10 represents particles less than 10 microns across and PM2.5 represents particles less than 2.5 microns across.  Greater Wellington currently monitors PM10 in five areas and in three of these areas PM2.5 monitoring is also carried out.

Annual average PM10 levels in all monitored areas are below national guidelines.  Daily concentrations of PM10 don’t always meet the national standard during the winter in inland valley areas where home fires are common and when it’s cold, clear and still.

Greater Wellington offers residents in Masterton and Wainuiomata the opportunity to upgrade their old wood burners to cleaner heating alternatives through our home heating and insulation assistance scheme. Greater Wellington continues to work with local communities to develop the Proposed Natural Resources Plan which includes measures to manage air quality contaminants and meet national health-based standards and guidelines.

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.

We report on annual and daily PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations at selected sites. Trends are reported for towns where 10 or more years of PM10 measurements are available. 

  • 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 5

Towns in the Wellington region

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