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West Coast region

Air Quality

Air quality in the West Coast region is generally good however over the cold winter months emissions from domestic heating increase and can cause a reduction in air quality. 

Air quality in the West Coast region is generally good however over the cold winter months emissions from domestic heating increase and can cause a reduction in air quality. Following some investigative monitoring in the early 2000's a permanent air quality monitoring site was established in the town of Reefton. The majority of larger towns on the West Coast are situated close to the coast and therefore benefit from a greater degree of air circulation which helps to distribute particulate matter such as PM10. Reefton is an inland town which has climatic, geographic and anthropogenic factors contributing to poor air quality during winter. The West Coast Regional Council is working with the Reefton community to work towards improvements in air quality for the town. For further information regarding air quality on the West Coast please contact the West Coast Regional Council.   

Regional Summary
PM10at 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.

PM10 is the main concern for air quality on the West Coast especially over the winter months when solid fuel burning for domestic heating increases. PM10 is currently monitored at one site in Reefton where, over winter, there can be exceedances of the National Environmental Standard for PM10.

PM monitoring history at towns in this region

  • Annual average
  • Highest daily average
  • Exeedance
Showing:
PM10

Guideline


Concentration






% of guideline

What is this showing me?

The graph shows the annual average and highest daily average PM10 concentrations, and number of exceedance days for the year selected. These are shown against air quality guidelines of 20 µg/m³ for annual averages and 50 µg/m³ for daily averages. The World Health Organisation published new guidelines in September 2021 of 10 µg/m³ for annual averages and 45 µg/m³ for daily averages. Values above the guidelines can be a cause for concern as exposure to high PM10 values can cause short and long term health effects. The trends in the table below indicate whether the PM10 concentrations have been improving, showing no measurable change, or declining over the previous 10-years. (For towns that have more than one monitoring site, a representative site is shown).

Data table PM10
Towns 10-year Trend annual average (µg/m³) Highest daily average (µg/m³) 2nd highest daily average (µg/m³) Number of exceedances
Towns 1

Towns in the West Coast region

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