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 our health-care costs created by smoking, not exercising, eating poorly and becoming obese, 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


Why is this indicator important?

Material diverted from landfill is a measure of recycling, and is indicative of the community’s commitment to waste minimisation. Recycling reduces waste disposal, which is expensive and may cause environmental problems. It also saves landfill space and reduces the demand for raw materials and energy used to make the product in the first place.

Volume diverted from landfills per capita, 2010-2015


  • The volume of material diverted from landfill on a per capita basis has been relatively consistent across the period in which comparable data is available.
  • The largest amount diverted was 120 kg per capita in 2012, in 2015, 107 kg per capita was diverted.
  • Total kg waste diverted from landfill decreased by 5% between 2010 and 2015, from 55,950 to 53,176 in 2015.


Definition and data details

Indicator Definition

Kilograms of material from kerbside and drop-off collections for recycling, divided by the estimated resident population.

Data Source

Wellington region territorial authorities (councils)

Last updated March 2018

Comparable data is only available for the years shown. Indicators are updated in May and November each year; for those indicators where new data or survey results have become available.

This indicator reports the gross tonnage of waste diverted from landfill that can be measured by the region’s territorial authorities. It includes where possible: data from kerbside collections, transfer stations and landfill sites (including greenwaste, and material diverted from the tipface) as well as material collected via some council recycling centres. Cleanfill and contaminated soil are not included. Recycling data for Wairarapa only encompasses the entire Wairarapa area from 2011 onward, the composting component (estimated for all years in the time series presented) applies to Masterton only. It is not possible to obtain data relating to every diversion initiative in the region, as some are delivered by private contractors, and amongst others, adequate measurement systems have not been put in place.

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.