- Our air quality is good in most places and at most times of the year. However, in cooler months emissions from home heating can raise particulate matter to levels above standards and guidelines, especially when the weather and landscape contribute to pollutants building up.
- Vehicle emissions contributed to poor air quality in places, particularly for nitrogen dioxide pollution, which can cause serious health problems.
- International studies show that air pollution can affect people’s health. Effects include shortness of breath and coughing, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and premature death. New Zealand specific studies on the health impacts are limited, but modelled data provides information on the changes over time.
- While New Zealand has low levels of light pollution and some areas have pristine night skies, all major urban areas had light pollution. Light pollution could affect cultural practices (including mātauranga Māori), natural ecosystems, and biodiversity.
- Some emerging issues need more investigation to understand effects on our health, our environment, and our economy.
- There are several knowledge and data gaps that prevent fuller understanding of the state and trends of our air.