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?

Natural disasters (and the cost of cleaning up after them) actually create an increase in GDP, thus counting natural disasters as a benefit to our economy. From a GPI perspective, natural disasters would be a decline in our well-being

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


Ecological footprint

Why is this indicator important?

Ecological footprinting is widely used as an indicator of environmental sustainability. It is an estimate of the amount of biologically productive land and sea area required to produce the goods a human population consumes and to dispose of waste. Understanding our ecological footprint increases awareness of the sustainability of our consumption patterns. Ecological footprinting is a way of comparing what we consume with what we actually have. 

Total ecological footprint, 2001-2013

Findings

  • The Wellington region had an ecological footprint of 1.70 lha/capita in 2004. This is below the New Zealand average of 1.97 lha/capital.

Ecological footprint

Definition and data details

Indicator Definition

The amount of land (per capita) that is required to sustain the region at current levels.

Data Source

Ministry for the Environment/Market Economics

Last updated 24 July 2012

2004 is the only data point available. 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.