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Masterton is located near the head of the inland Wairarapa valley plain bounded by hills and ranges either side. The Masterton urban airshed is the least windy and has a greater temperature range than other parts of the region. People rely on wood burning to heat their homes and on cold and still days wood smoke can build up leading to unhealthy levels of fine particles in the air.


Air quality is currently monitored at Masterton West on Pownall Street. Air Quality at this site doesn't meet the National Environmental Standard for PM10 as there is typically more than one PM10 exeedance day per year. These exceedances are due to wood smoke from home fires that builds up in the evening when there are clear skies and light or calm winds. 


Town Summary
Air quality in this town

In Masterton PM10 and PM2.5 levels are highest during winter evenings when people are using fires for home heating and when weather conditions are cold, there is little wind and skies are cloudless. Other sources of PM10 and PM2.5 emissions are traffic, industrial and commercial processes and natural sources. 

Levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, which are indicators of traffic emissions, are low.  

Sources of air pollution

Home heating Industrial Outdoor burning Traffic Indoor sources Natural sources
  • Show Hide
    • Sources of PM10 emissions
    • Sources of PM2.5 emissions
    • Sources of NOx emissions
    Source Annual percentage Winter day percentage
    Home heating Home heating {{emissions.annualhome}}% {{emissions.winterhome}}%
    Industrial Industrial {{emissions.annualindustry}}% {{emissions.winterindustry}}%
    Outdoor burning Outdoor burning {{emissions.annualoutdoor}}% {{emissions.winteroutdoor}}%
    Traffic Traffic {{emissions.annualmotor}}% {{emissions.wintermotor}}%
    Relative breakdown
    Winter day

    The table shows the proportions of the main sources of PM10, PM2.5 and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in this town from home heating, industrial activities, outdoor burning and traffic.  (Indoor, natural and shipping sources 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 PM and NOx emissions, which allows comparison between towns throughout New Zealand.  Regional council or unitary authority published emissions information might differ if they were prepared in a different year or used another method. Contact your regional council or unitary authority for more information about PM and other emissions in your area.

Seasonal variation

  • Show wind speed
  • Show temperature



Wind speed (km/h)

Air temperature (℃)

What is this graph showing me?

The graph shows the monthly average PM concentrations at one representative site in this town for the year selected. In many towns in New Zealand, PM 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 Masterton

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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