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 2018 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, 2001-2018

What this means

The healthy environment index increased between 2001 and 2018 by 8.6%.


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?

The GPI counts crime, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, natural resource depletion and soil loss, as costs, not gains, to the economy.

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

Energy use

Why is this indicator important?

Inefficient use of energy, especially energy obtained from fossil fuels, carries environmental, social, and economic costs. Current energy production and consumption patterns have been linked to global climate change, energy cost and resilience issues, local health effects, and regional impacts such as air and water pollution, damage to marine terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, resource depletion, and soil contamination.

Total energy consumption per capita, 2001-2015


  • Per capita energy consumption (per year) in the Wellington region has decreased from 25 MWh per person in 2001 to 21.6 MWh in 2015, a decrease of 14%.
  • The decrease has been relatively consistent since 2005.

Energy use

Definition and data details

Indicator Definition

The total apparent energy consumption from all sources divided by the estimated resident population.

Data Source

Derived from URS 2014 Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the Wellington Region

Most recent source is: Communtity GHG Inventory Wellington City and Wellington Region 2015 (published May 2016) see GHG emissions section for document link.

Last updated April 2017

Energy consumption data is an aggregate of multiple energy types equivalised to MWh and then normalised across the Wellington region population.

Energy types include: stationary (electricity, natural gas, coal, biofuel, and LPG) and mobile (petrol, diesel, rail diesel, jet kerosene, aviation gas, marine diesel, light fuel oil and LPG).

Population figures applied are Statistics NZ Estimated Resident Population for Regional Council Areas, at 30 June (1996+) (Annual-Jun).  

Indicators are updated in April 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.