A comprehensive assessment of New Zealand’s environment shows improvements in some areas, but continued reduction in many aspects of environmental quality, with consequences for human health and wellbeing, according to the state of the environment report Environment Aotearoa 2022.
The report, produced every three years by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, draws on nearly 50 environmental indicators, including 11 updated specifically for the report.
Environment Aotearoa 2022 found pressures of land-use change and intensification, pollution, invasive species, resource use, and climate change were having detrimental impacts on the environment.
New Zealand’s rare ecosystems and indigenous species are under threat with 94 percent of reptiles threatened with extinction or at risk of becoming extinct, and nearly three-quarters of terrestrial birds threatened or at risk.
The area of highly productive land that was unavailable for agriculture increased 54 percent between 2002 and 2019.
Our climate is warming, glaciers are melting, and sea levels are rising. Air quality in Aotearoa is improving slowly at a majority of measurement sites, but in many places, pollution levels are above the new WHO 2021 guidelines.
Read the Environment Aotearoa 2022 report.