Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Hawke’s Bay Air Quality Science Informs WHO Review

Media Release

8 May 2014

Hawke’s Bay Air Quality Science Informs WHO Review

Hawke’s Bay is doing as well as, if not better than, many other towns and cities in New Zealand in terms of air quality, says Hawke’s Bay Regional Council scientists in response to a report from the World Health Organisation.

The United Nations public health arm has released a report of outdoor air quality in 1600 cities across 91 countries. Subsequent news reports have stated that many smaller centres have worse air quality than metropolitan Auckland.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) used figures supplied by the Ministry for the Environment based on data supplied by regional councils. These figures are the annual mean concentrations of fine particulate matter, which are particles smaller than 10 micrometres per cubic metre of air (ie PM10).

HBRC air scientist Dr Kathleen Kozyniak says that annual mean PM10 concentrations for both Napier and Hastings are lower than the MfE’s Ambient Air Quality Guideline value of 20 micrograms per cubic metre. They rank similarly to Auckland at 14 and 15 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.

Dr Kozyniak says that HBRC was advised last year that WHO would be collecting data, and councils had the opportunity to verify their monitoring information.

“On the whole there has been a pleasing decrease in PM10 concentrations in our two cities since monitoring began in 2005/6,” says Dr Kozyniak.

“From 2010 to 2012 we saw Hastings concentrations drop from 17 to 15 micrograms per cubic metre and Napier’s from 15 to 14 micrograms per cubic metre. Having said that, there was a blip upward in concentrations last year in both cities for a number of possible reasons, such as the light winds we had last winter. I’m aware there was a similar pattern in other NZ centres’ air quality too.”

Dr Kozyniak says that weather plays a part in air quality.

“Hawke’s Bay’s winters may be blessed with days of fine blue skies and calm conditions in winter but, although they cheer the heart, these are conditions which trap smoke close to the ground. Some of the centres listed in the news report have windier and wetter conditions which help to clear the air.”

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has conducted emissions inventories (2005 and 2010, another is due next year) which indicate that domestic fire emissions contribute more than 90% of the wintertime concentrations of PM10.

HBRC’s Heatsmart Programme Manager, Mark Heaney, says that council’s Heatsmart scheme for upgrading older model wood burners to more efficient modern burners or heat pumps means that people can expect to see PM10 concentrations progressively decrease.

“The quality of the air in Napier and Hastings during winter still needs to improve and we all have to work towards that. It has been encouraging to advise a lot of people over the past few months on the choices they can make for home heating and how to take advantage of the Council’s funding assistance package.”

Below are graphs for Napier and Hastings average winter only concentrations, as compared to the annual average quoted by WHO. These graphs are adjusted to take account of the variation in weather between winters. Overall the trend is downward, but with a blip last year.



Note – micrograms per cubic metre are shown as µgm-3

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Environment And Conservation: Changes To Our Oceans Pose Serious Concerns

New Zealand’s oceans, coasts, and marine wildlife are under growing pressure, according to the first national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand about the marine environment. More>>


Police Authority: Use Of Taser Was Disproportionate And Unjustified

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that an officer’s second use of a Taser on a mentally unwell Hokitika man was disproportionate and unjustified. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Holidays, Hekia Parata And Badlands

Hekia Parata, adieu. Reportedly, she’s been ‘passionate’ about education. She has “bravely’ led the charge on the government’s education reforms. In the past week , many of the postscripts to Hekia Parata’s career as Education Minister have sounded like a schoolteacher desperately trying to find some reason why a D student can be marked up to C minus. More>>


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Get More From Scoop



More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news