New air pollution report shows importance of action on emissions

  • Hon Phil Twyford

A new report released today on the health effects of air pollution shows the Government’s focus on reducing emissions will save lives.

The latest Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand 2016 study shows air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of more than 3,300 New Zealanders every year, and over 13,000 cases of childhood asthma.

“This report provides a snapshot of the decade of decline before our Government was elected, and underscores the importance of the environmental progress we have made for the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders,” Associate Environment Minister Phil Twyford said.

“Motor vehicles and domestic fires cause 96 per cent of the social costs from air pollution, about $15.6 billion a year, further underlining the importance of New Zealand’s first Emissions Reduction Plan released earlier this year which drives down emissions across all sectors.

“It also provides further evidence of why we need policies like the Clean Car Discount which has just recently seen a record amount of EVs and hybrids registered in its first year, state sector decarbonisation projects like getting rid of coal boilers in schools, and reform of our resource management system which will require prescribed limits on air pollution.

“We have also made half price public transport permanent for many New Zealanders.

“In New Zealand our environment is at the heart of who we are as a country. Having clean water, oceans, and air protects the health of all New Zealanders, while also sustaining our economy.

“We have made big strides in improving our environment since 2017, including banning single-use plastic bags and ending new offshore oil and gas exploration, but there is always more to do and this report demonstrates the urgency in continuing this work,” Phil Twyford said.

Notes to editors:

The HAPINZ 3.0 report was funded by the Ministry for the Environment, Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency, Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport, and Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health.

The report is available on the Ministry for the Environment website at the following link – https://environment.govt.nz/publications/health-and-air-pollution-in-new-zealand-2016-findings-and-implications

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