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Transport Key To Reducing Regional Carbon Emissions

New data released by Statistics New Zealand shows that Bay of Plenty carbon emissions grew by 4.4 percent in 2019. The national average was an increase of 2.1 percent.

The report shows the rise in emissions in Bay of Plenty is primarily due to increases in agriculture and manufacturing emissions.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council General Manager of Strategy and Science, Namouta Poutasi, says this is sobering news for the region when we all need to be focusing on how we can reduce emissions and mitigate the impact of climate change.

“Transport is where Regional Council has the greatest ability to influence regional greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, we can see that transport related emissions make up 90 percent of household emissions and have been on the rise over the last decade. This is a worrying trend,” says Ms Poutasi.

The data shows there was a 2 percent increase in household transport emissions in 2019, as people continue to use their cars as their main way to travel, for example, to get to and from work.

“Regional Council is working to make other travel options, such as public transport, more accessible and affordable so more people are able to ditch the car. These actions are good for the community, for personal health and wellbeing, and good for the climate."

“One full bus can take more than 50 cars off the road so reducing the high dependence on car travel is key to addressing the challenge of rising greenhouse gas emissions.”

“We currently have five electric buses based in Tauranga, and will work towards having a fully electric, and/ or hydrogen fueled, fleet for the whole region by 2028 when the last current contract comes up for renewal.”

“It’s a big investment, but electric buses are significantly cheaper to run than the diesel equivalents and offer a superior experience for passengers. A move towards zero emission buses will also be helped by financing available through the New Zealand Green Investment Fund, to which councils can apply for debt or possibly equity investments.”

“There is no silver bullet here, but all changes have potential to make a difference."

“As a country we’re on a mission to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. If we are to truly influence climate change trends, we all need to play our part,” says Ms Poutasi.

To view the data, please click here.


  • In 2019, Bay of Plenty’s total emissions increased by 4.4 percent (147 kilotonnes), which was higher than the national increase of 2.1 percent. This was driven by an 85 kilotonne increase in agriculture emissions and a 27 kilotonne increase in manufacturing emissions.
  • In 2019, 49 percent of Bay of Plenty’s emissions (1,695 kilotonnes) were from carbon dioxide and a further 39 percent (1,352 kilotonnes) from methane.
  • Over the 2007–2019 period, Bay of Plenty’s emissions increased by 431 kilotonnes (14 percent).
  • In 2019, 82 percent of Bay of Plenty’s emissions were from industry and 18 percent from households. Bay of Plenty had one of the lowest emissions intensities across regions as it produced 183 tonnes of emissions per million dollars of GDP and 11 tonnes of emissions per person.
  • In economic terms, Bay of Plenty’s top industries are owner-occupied property operation, manufacturing, and construction. Together these industries made up 24.3 percent of the region’s GDP in 2019.
  • In 2020, Bay of Plenty’s GDP increased 6.1 percent ($1,078 million) and its population by 2.3 percent (7,400 people).
  • Over the next year, Regional Council will be undertaking feasibility work to assess the scale of the decarbonisation challenge and potential costs of buses, additional power infrastructure and depots (required to house/ maintain an all-electric fleet).

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