WIT Press

Air Quality Management In Auckland, New Zealand


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WIT Press


J. K. Symons, N. S. Leksmono, E. T. Hayes, T. J. Chatterton & J. W. S. Longhurst


Air quality in New Zealand is perceived by many to be very good. This is facilitated by low population density, geographical isolation and a maritime climate. The climate and weather of New Zealand is also affected by large scale wind systems which promote westerly winds and aid dispersion. Despite favourable conditions, air pollution is a problem in many urban centres in New Zealand. Although industrial emissions contribute to pollution, emissions from domestic and traffic sources are significant. Outdoor burning and domestic fires are common, and are a major source of air pollutants and complaints. National Environmental Standards for Ambient Air Quality were introduced in 2004 but these are unlikely to be achieved in a number of locations including Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, where traffic emissions are the major source of air pollution. Auckland’s population is 1.3 million people (almost one third of the national total). The city covers an area approximately equal in size to London. Poorly developed public transport services and urban sprawl have resulted in reliance on private vehicles, and ownership rates in New Zealand are among the highest in the world. In conjunction with an aged vehicle fleet and severe traffic congestion, the resulting air pollution has become a significant issue in Auckland. This paper considers the process of air quality management in New Zealand, illustrated by the particular problems systemic to Auckland. Policy responses include a Regional Land Transport Strategy with health protection as a key objective. However, it is far from certain whether these will successfully deliver cleaner air, and further national guidance and additional transport focussed regulations may be needed to achieve the air quality improvements in Auckland necessary to meet the national Standards. Keywords: air quality management, traffic, Auckland, New Zealand.


air quality management, traffic, Auckland, New Zealand.