Rotorua Air Quality
Our responsibility for air quality in Rotorua
Bay of Plenty Regional Council is responsible for managing the region's air quality. National Environmental Standards were introduced in 2004 for air quality and it is our responsibility to ensure that they are met.
These standards provide a level of protection for the health of New Zealanders and our natural environment. Forty-two areas, called airsheds, were established to have their pollution monitored. Rotorua is one these.
Rotorua's Air Quality
Rotorua has the worst winter air quality in the North Island.
Rotorua's air quality exceeds the safe and acceptable level set by Ministry for Environment. We have the highest number of exceedences in the North Island.
The biggest source of our air pollution is from solid-fuel burners for home heating - wood burners, multi burners and open fires.
The most vulnerable to the adverse health effects of our air pollution is the very young, the elderly and those who suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Appoximately 228 tonnes of fine particulates are discharged annually into Rotorua's air. We need to reduce this by 60 tonnes to meet the safe and acceptable standards set by the Ministry for Environment.
Watch video - Rotorua Temperature Inversion Layer
What are we doing about it?
Our air quality is affecting our health and is unpleasant to look at. Bay of Plenty Regional Council is implementing the Rotorua Air Quality Action Plan (pdf, 1.7MB) to clean it up. We also work with an Air Quality Joint Committee that includes representatives from Rotorua District Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Ministry for the Environment and the health sector.
What can you do?
If you are concerned about activities causing air pollution please call our Pollution Hotline on 0800 884 883.
Offsets Requirements for the Rotorua Airshed
The 2011 change to the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality introduced offsets requirements for new industrial emissions into polluted airsheds. Prior to this change, no emissions of fine particulates (PM10) could be granted a resource consent. The offsets requirement now allows new discharges to be granted consent, provided the equivalent amount of PM10 is offset by removal of another source of PM10 in the airshed.
The Rotorua Airshed is currently the only airshed classified as polluted under the national air standards. The Bay of Plenty Regional Council adopted the Offsets Guidance for the Rotorua Airshed on 13 February 2013 to assist with understanding and implementing the offsets requirements. The document was updated in October 2014 to be consistent with the updated offsets guidance provided by the Ministry for the Environment.