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Environment Aotearoa 2019

Publication date:  April 2019
Publication reference number:  ME 1416

Environment Aotearoa 2019 provides an overview of the state of our environment. Using five broad themes the report presents nine priority environmental issues. Each issue includes information about why it matters, what has changed, and the consequences.

Environment Aotearoa 2019 is a joint report by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ.

Subsequent to publication we discovered a minor error in the calculation of dominant land cover used with River water quality data in this report. This has had a minor impact on the figures used in this report. For the most recent data, please see Our freshwater 2020 and the related indicator pages.

Correction: 10 May 2019
We have corrected a sentence on page 39 of Environment Aotearoa 2019.  The following sentence originally said $5 million. It now says $5 billion: Our remaining freshwater wetlands were estimated to provide benefits with an estimated value of more than $5 billion per year in 2012 (Patterson & Cole, 2013).

Correction: 10 June 2019
We have corrected a sentence on page 33 of Environment Aotearoa 2019. The following sentence originally said 55 percent. It now says 60 percent: As of 2012, approximately 5 percent of our land area was classified as highly prone to erosion, and 60 per cent of highly erodible land was in the North Island.

We have corrected a sentence on page 84 of Environment Aotearoa 2019. The following sentence originally said total allowable catch. It now says total allowable commercial catch: The QMS gives quota holders a right to harvest a fish stock up to a maximum level - the total allowable commercial catch.

Correction: 6 January 2020
We have corrected three sentences on page 96 of Environment Aotearoa 2019. The text originally said: Although the number of vehicles entering the fleet in 2017 was a record high, the number exiting it was low. This makes our light vehicle fleet relatively old by OECD standards – 14 years on average for a petrol-powered vehicle. Older vehicles tend to be more wasteful of petrol for each kilometre travelled and emit more carbon dioxide (Ministry of Transport, 2017).

Our ageing vehicle fleet also contributes to black carbon emissions (as older vehicles emit more) (Davy & Trompetter, 2018).

This text now says: Although the number of vehicles entering the fleet in 2017 was a record high, the number exiting it was low. This is a continuation of a pattern that makes our light vehicle fleet relatively old by OECD standards – 14 years on average for a petrol-powered vehicle. The high rate of ownership and relatively high CO2 emissions per kilometre of newly registered vehicles contributes to New Zealand being among the highest OECD countries for emissions of CO2 per capita from on-road transport (OECD, 2017; Ministry of Transport, 2017).

Our ageing vehicle fleet also contributes to black carbon emissions (as older vehicles emit more per unit of fuel burned) (Davy & Trompetter, 2018).

Find out more

Read a summary of the report online

Download a PDF of the summary report

See all information from Environment Aotearoa 2019