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LGNZ welcomes air quality report

LGNZ welcomes Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s air quality report

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) welcomes the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s positive new report ‘The state of air quality in New Zealand’, in response to the Government’s ‘2014 Air Domain Report’.

The report, issued today, outlines that the state of our air is ‘generally good’ with ‘great progress’ in recent years.

Regional and unitary authorities are responsible for managing air quality under the Resource Management Act. They have a statutory responsibility to manage air quality and meet national health-based targets.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule agrees with the Commissioner’s commentary that air quality improvements are good news for New Zealand communities.

“Clean healthy air is important for our communities and local government supports National Environmental Standards for Air Quality that help achieve this,” Mr Yule says.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment recognises that the improvements that have been achieved due to the efforts of regional councils should continue.

LGNZ Regional Sector Chair Fran Wilde agrees, also with the Commissioner’s acknowledgment that both clean air and warm homes are important.

“Across New Zealand, regional and unitary councils have been working closely with communities to achieve cleaner air and warmer homes. This has included working to support low income households through home heating assistance programmes,” Ms Wilde says.

The monitoring by some regional councils showed that air quality in some air sheds was a significant issue prior to the introduction of the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality.

“Regional and unitary councils will continue to build on their work controlling the discharges of contaminants into the air to help ensure everyone has cleaner, healthier air to breathe,” Ms Wilde says.

The Commissioner’s report was prepared under the Environmental Reporting Bill. Under this new system of environmental reporting the Commissioner provides commentary on reports prepared by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand. Please click here to view the report.

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