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Environment

Facts about air

Northland is noted for its clear skies and fantastic fresh air.

Great air quality; why?

The quality of the air in Northland is very high because:

  • the south-westerly winds quickly move the air around;
  • the people are spread out across the region;
  • our vehicles are spread out across the region; and
  • there’s not a lot of heavy industry in Northland.

What pollutes the air?

‘Air pollution’ is anything in the air that we don’t want there.  Usually we don’t want it there because it affects our health or the environment in which we live.  Common causes of air pollution in Northland are:

  • smoke from fires;
  • dust from gravel roads;
  • discharge from factories; and
  • spraying agrichemicals and fertiliser.

 

Home fires
Although we live in the ‘winterless north’ lots of us use open fires to heat our homes in winter.  Many homes have older wood burners that are less efficient and produce more smoke than modern wood burners.  Burning off waste outdoors also contributes to air pollution.

 

Agrichemicals
An agrichemical is any substance used to control plants, insects or animals.  It can be man-made or naturally occurring.  If you are applying more than a knapsack sprayer or a non-motorised handgun sprayer you need to be GROWSAFE certified.

 

Dusty roads
Northland has around 6,600 km of roads, over 4,000 km of which are unsealed. The roads are looked after by Transit New Zealand and the district councils.