Environmental » Healthy Environment

We have clean water, fresh air and healthy soils. Well-functioning and diverse ecosystems make up an environment that can support our needs. Resources are used efficiently. There is minimal waste and pollution.

What is Healthy Environment?

Good air, water and soil quality, and reducing waste are all essential to maintaining a healthy environment and ensuring the sustainability of resources. Water-based recreational activities are part of an outdoor-focused way of life and it is essential that the water is of a high quality. Protecting land through open space covenants also helps maintain ecosystem diversity, along with natural and cultural heritage. Primary land uses such as agriculture, dairying and cropping are key contributors to an economy but they can have a negative influence on the environment. 

16 indicators are used to measure progress towards the healthy environment outcome (defined above). Data relating to each individual indicator (for the 2001 to 2016 period) is provided via the menu below. The healthy environment index (pictured below) shows the composite average of the individual indicators.

As there is only one community outcome under environmental well-being, the same index is applied to both the well-being aspect and the community outcome area.

kapiti island from QEP dune

Healthy environment, 2001-2016

What this means

The healthy environment index increased between 2001 and 2016 by 8.1%.

 

The index exhibits some fluctuations, exacerbated by indicators such as stream and river health, landfill waste and GHG emissions per capita that, whilst demonstrating improvement when viewed across the entire time series, experienced sharp declines in some years, and notable increases in others.

 

Key improvements relate to the suitability of marine and freshwater sites for recreation, and the per capita water supply (a measure of sustainable water consumption). Two indicators that have not shown signs of improvement however are soil quality of dairy farm sites and perception of air pollution as a problem.

Did you know?

A GPI is an attempt to measure whether a nation’s or a region's growth, increased production of goods, and expanding services have actually resulted in the improvement of the well-being of the people in the region.

16 Indicators are being used to track Healthy Environment in the Wellington region

Click on each indicator below to access further information


Download Territorial Authority data for these Indicators


Air quality » Overview

Why is this indicator important?

Without clean air, we can expect ongoing damage to our health, ecosystems and our economy. Long-term exposure to suspended particles (PM10) is linked to adverse health effects in the population. Air quality varies from year-to-year and from place to place due to the effect of weather and topography on the dispersion of air pollutants.

Air quality, 2002-2016

Findings

  • Air quality in the region is within acceptable limits in most places, most of the time.
  • In 2016, PM10 concentrations at monitored sites in the Wellington region were at good/excellent levels on 83.5% of days.
  • Even though the number of monitoring sites has changed over the study period, long-term trends show a slight improvement in the region’s air quality.

Air quality » Technical Information

Indicator Definition

The number of days sampled where PM10 levels were at excellent or good category levels (<5-16µg/m3) expressed as a percentage of the total number of days sampled.

Data Source

Greater Wellington Regional Council

Last updated April 2017

Data available only for 2002 to 2016.

Only selected sites around the region are monitored, and the number of sites monitored has changed over the study period.

More information is available at www.gw.govt.nz/Annual-monitoring-reports/

Indicators are updated in May and November each year; for those indicators where new data or survey results have become available.

While care has been taken in processing, analysing and extracting information, we cannot guarantee that the information is free from error and we shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of any information, product or service.