Air is a life-supporting resource that needs to be protected. Although Northland's air is generally of a high quality, there is air pollution from anthropogenic activities – the things humans do – particularly around urban areas.

In order to protect our air quality, the Northland Regional Council developed the Regional Air Quality Plan (RAQP) for Northland. The plan gives guidance to anyone using our air resource and specifies rules about what discharges into air are allowed.


The council has been monitoring air quality in the region since 1996. The main purpose of air quality monitoring is to find out where air pollution might affect human health.

The council has an ongoing programme monitoring pollutants such as particulate matter (PM10) – very small particles that can get into your lungs – carbon monoxide (CO) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) in places that are suspected of having occasional poor air quality.

The council also monitors activities that involve discharges to air and investigates environmental incidents relating to air.

Burning of prohibited items.Burning of prohibited items at an industrial premises in Whāngārei.