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Updated Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand 2012

The Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand study, published in July 2007, has been updated in 2012. The updated HAPINZ findings show that man-made air pollution is associated with over 1,100 cases of premature mortality – that is people dying earlier than they would have if they had not been exposed to air pollution.

The primary source of man-made emissions throughout New Zealand is home heating, with the exception of Auckland where the main source is transport.

Other illness associated with man-made emissions include:

  • 607 extra hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiac illnesses
  • 1.49 million restricted activity days (days on which people cannot do the things they might otherwise have done if air pollution was not present).

HAPINZ 2012 calculated the effects associated with particulate pollution (PM10). The total social costs of air pollution from man-made sources in New Zealand (from both premature death and adverse health impacts) are estimated to be $4.28 billion per year or $1,061 per person.

A significant component of the study was the development of a Health Effects Model for New Zealand.

The summary and technical reports, together with the Health Effects Model, are available on the HAPiNZ website.

Government actions to counter air pollution

A number of significant Government initiatives have come to effect since 2005 to address air pollution. These include:

Background to the HAPiNZ 2012 study

The HAPiNZ 2012 study was commissioned by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Ministry for the Environment, the Ministry of Transport and the New Zealand Transport Agency with in-kind support from the Auckland Council and the Ministry of Health. The study aimed to:

  • identify effects of air pollution throughout New Zealand and to link the health effects to particulate emissions
  • incorporate up-to-date air quality monitoring, health data and exposure modelling
  • correct a number of errors that had been identified with the 2007 report in a review carried out in 2010
  • assess potential effects in previously unstudied areas.

The HAPINZ contract was awarded to a group headed by Dr Gerda Kuschel.


Last updated:21 May 2014