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Air quality

New Zealand has relatively good air quality due to our low population density, close proximity to the sea, and remoteness from other continents and sources of pollution. However, there are some areas, mostly within our cities and towns, where air pollution is quite high.  Air pollution usually occurs when there is not much wind, and where there is high traffic, or where homes are heated by mainly open fires or wood burners.

As our population, standard of living, and size of urban areas increase, air pollution may get worse. And the quality of the air we breathe, which we often take for granted, may be threatened. Unlike the food we eat or water we drink, we do not get to choose the air that we breathe.  So we must look after our air carefully and protect one of New Zealand’s most precious resources.

This section of the site provides information on Ministry work on air quality and the effects of air pollution:

Links to other Ministry resources

Last updated: 16 July 2009