Results of the 2002 report prepared by the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) on road transport's contribution to air pollution.

Health effects of vehicle emissions - NIWA Vehicle Health Effects Report

In 2001 the Ministry of Transport commissioned this study in order to assess the health effects due to air pollution emissions from vehicles on the population of New Zealand.

The study has been based on methodologies established overseas, in particular a study in Europe which showed that the number of pre-mature deaths due to vehicle related air pollution was greater than that due to the road toll.

The NIWA Vehicle Health Effects Report estimated that 399 people above 30 years of age die prematurely per year due to exposure to emissions from vehicles in New Zealand (with a 95% confidence range of 241-566 people). This finding lead to the development of the Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Rule in 2003 and its subsequent amendments.

A more recent and more detailed report on this subject is the 2012 Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand (HAPiNZ) report(external link). However, the NIWA Vehicle Health Effects Report remains one of the few studies of the effects of transport on air quality in New Zealand.

Read the Health Effects Due to Motor Vehicle Air Pollution in New Zealand report (PDF v7.0 684kb).

Find out more about the Vehicle Emissions Rule.