We know the Whareroa and Mount Maunganui community are concerned about air pollution from the nearby industrial area. That is why we have committed to spending $500,000 a year to accurately monitor air quality in the industrial area where pollution is most concentrated.
We know from our monitoring that air quality in the Mount Maunganui area is reasonable and appears to be improving with less exceedances of the national limits being recorded for fine dust. At the same time, we know that for many who live, work or play in this area, odour can be a significant issue and negatively impact mental health.
As a Regional Council, it’s our role to monitor air quality and manage air pollution. The key challenge to managing air pollution in this area is the proximity of industrial zoned land to residential zoned land, primarily the Whareroa Marae and Mount Maunganui residential areas. Local councils are responsible for land zoning, not regional councils, but this complex situation has been generations in the making, with many stakeholders involved.
Air pollution is a complex mix of tiny particles and gases that can be produced naturally or from human activity. The main sources of air pollution in New Zealand are wood and coal fires (for home heating), motor vehicles, industrial emissions, open burning and natural sources such as sea salt, sand, pollen and soil.