National Environmental Standards for Air Quality

What do we monitor?

The Ministry for the Environment (MFE) introduced National Environmental Standards for air quality in 2004. The regulations set ambient standards for five pollutants: carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and PM10. The National Environmental Standards (NES) also prohibit certain activities and set emission standards and efficiency criteria for wood burners used for household heating.


Under the NES Regional Councils must monitor these five air pollutants and publicly notify any exceedances. The implementation of NES also requires Regional Councils to designate areas (airsheds) where air quality has been adversely affected.

Which areas in Northland are monitored?

Using research carried out by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), the Regional Council identified five areas in Northland which are suspected of reaching or exceeding the NES. The five airsheds in Northland include Whangārei City, Marsden Point, Kaitāia, Kerikeri and Dargaville.

Airshed maps - find out if your property is in an airshed

An online map, interactive map is available for you to check if your property is in an airshed.

View the airsheds maps online

Get more information:

More information on the National Environmental Standards can be obtained on the MFE website, using the following link: