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Auckland air quality report August 2021

Louis Boamponsem, Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
Publication date:  



  • No breach of national air quality standards has occurred this year (January to July).
  • Overall, air quality has slightly improved in Auckland over the last two years. A key contributor is COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Over the past two years, there is a downward trend in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration in the Auckland CBD.
  • PM2.5 source apportionment modelling study indicates that 61% of the concentrations come from five common sources across Auckland urban sites: biomass burning (mainly from home heating), motor vehicles, sea salt, marine diesel and soils (windblown soil, road dust, and dust generated by earthworks, construction, and road works).
  • The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown (week one) depended on the contaminant and the monitoring site. Concentrations of particulates matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, and ozone were significantly lower than the previous two years average. Generally, average concentrations of particulate matter, ozone (O3) and black carbon were slightly higher than the 2020 week one lockdown. However, the average concentration of NO2 was slightly lower than the 2020 week one lockdown.
  • There was no clear impact of the lockdown on SO2 and CO concentrations.

Read the frequently asked questions about the air quality monitoring in the Auckland region.

For more information or questions, please send inquiries to:

Auckland Council, August 2021