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Home >> Environment >> Natural resources >> Air >> Community views about the region’s air

Community views about the region’s air

In 2006, Waikato Regional Council surveyed people living in the Waikato to find out their awareness of, attitudes to and actions about environmental issues and what they valued about living in the Waikato region. Find out what the Waikato community thinks about the region's air.

Photograph of hot air balloons.

We asked people to tell us what were the most important environmental issues facing the region. Water pollution, waste disposal and air pollution were mentioned most frequently. Other air related issues that were mentioned include:

  • transport - congestion/roading - 3 per cent
  • sprays and pesticides - 2 per cent
  • smells - by less than 1 per cent.

One in six people said that they thought air pollution will be the most important environmental issue facing the region in five years time.

Overall 21 per cent of those surveyed felt that vehicle emissions are damaging air quality. This was much higher in Hamilton where 35 per cent mentioned vehicle emissions. In 2003, 31 per cent of Hamilton people thought vehicle emissions were damaging our air quality. Fifteen per cent of the region's residents mentioned industrial emissions.

Find out about features and air quality issues in different parts of the region on our regional map. Check out the top three environmental concerns of people living in each district council area of the Waikato region.

When asked whether the main source of air pollution in the region comes from people's home fires, only one in three survey respondents got the answer right by saying yes.

What people are doing

The four major sources of air pollution in the Waikato region are home fires, industry, livestock farming and motor vehicles. Most of the actions people took in their daily lives to keep our air clean were to do with motor vehicle emissions, such as:

  • using the car less often - 10 per cent
  • drive fuel efficient car/tune car - 1 per cent
  • use alternative fuels/energy - 1 per cent.

Below are the other actions people said they took that help keep our air clean:

  • disposing of chemicals correctly - 4 per cent
  • reduce/don't use/improve efficiency of fireplace for home heating - 2 per cent
  • bury rubbish/not burn - 2 per cent
  • watch what they burn - 1 per cent
  • not smoking - 1 per cent

Other actions mentioned by less than 1 per cent of residents were: not lighting fires, not burning coal and burning wood for home heating.

People’s environmental attitudes

Our survey shows that Waikato people generally have strong positive attitudes towards the environment:

  • There is strong community support for regulations and for protection of the environment over the economy.
  • Most support the statements that 'government restrictions on the use of private property are necessary so that the environment will not be harmed' and that 'council should enforce its rules and laws to make sure that the environment is well looked after'.
  • Fifty-three percent of Waikato people do not believe that landowners should be able to do what they want on their land.

More information

Find out more about the views of Waikato people on the region’s:

For more results from this survey check out our indicators of communities and their views or contact us if you’d like more information about our survey.

Find out more about how weather affects air quality, the sources of air pollution in the region and what you can do to help keep our air clean.