Trucks pushing Tauranga carbon figures

A lack of public transport and the city’s layout are factors contributing to high per capita carbon emissions. Supplied photo.

A study of Tauranga pollution levels shows the city’s carbon emissions are higher per person than they are in Auckland.

The report document is a summary PowerPoint presentation that AECOM spoke to when it was first presented to the council recently.

The data shows cars and trucks are the city’s biggest generator of carbon emissions. For the 2015/16 year the city’s population of 128,000 people was emitting 6.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person.

Sixty three per cent of the emissions are transportation emissions, petrol and diesel making up 511,761 tonne of carbon dioxide emissions, and the transportation emissions are 97 per cent road transport – diesel 57 per cent and petrol 40 per cent.

The other big slice of the emissions pie is taken up by stationary energy at 23.6 per cent.

“In terms of the report it shows that Tauranga stands out in the emissions produced from transport,” says Tauranga City Council Environment Committee chairman Steve Morris.

Tauranga transport emissions are high because there’s little public transport, and at the moment it is pretty easy to get around in the city, says Steve. The other reason is the layout, Tauranga’s newer fashioned street layout means there are lots of culs de sac.

“We don’t have those linear streets and everybody doesn’t live off the same main road, it is incredibly difficult to get a bus to near where you live. And secondly you have to walk or drive all around for miles to get to a place, and the bus has to go curling around this way that way rather than straight lines.

“We are still making a rod four our own back in that regard.”

The good news the rise of electric vehicles expected over the next ten years is going to reduce emissions as they replace the internal combustion powered vehicles.

“Because transport emissions are really significant in Tauranga compared to other cities, we have got more scope to reduce that as more electric vehicles come on line, without more intervention by council.”

For the city council the report reinforces the need to make it easier for people to move around the city without always relying on their cars, says city council communication adviser Marcel Currin.

“The benefits would not just be in terms of reducing carbon emissions, but we would also be creating a city that becomes easier for more people of all ages and abilities to move around,” says Marcel.

Tauranga City Council, NZ Transport Agency, Regional Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council are already committed to creating alternative modes of transport, so the question becomes how quickly should that happen. Staff are getting ready to start asking the community this question next month and through next year’s Long Term Plan as part of future transport planning.

The report was commissioned to assist TCC to develop a community carbon footprint, undertaken to help city council staff understand Tauranga’s pollution, says city council communications advisor Marcel Currin.

“We wanted to know how much is being produced and from what sources. This is the first time such a stocktake has been undertaken for the city. It’s the first step to understanding and managing our emissions,” says Marcel.

The information will help councillors and staff understand what actions that can be taken and where efforts should be focussed in order to reduce emissions as a city.

“The results give us a starting point to see where we can make a difference,” says Marcel. “It gives us baseline information to compare ourselves with other cities.”

Council staff are currently working on an environment strategy, and Mayor Greg Brownless is among 46 mayors and regional council chairs who signed the Local Government New Zealand Climate Change Declaration at the recent annual conference.

The declaration asks the New Zealand Government make it a priority to develop and implement an ambitious transition plan for a low carbon and resilient New Zealand.

It stresses the benefits of early action to moderate the costs of adaptation to New Zealand communities. “We are all too aware of challenges we face shoring up infrastructure and managing insurance costs,” says the mayors and chairs.

“These are serious financial considerations for councils and their communities.

“To underpin this plan, we ask that a holistic economic assessment is undertaken of New Zealand’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and of the opportunities and benefits for responding. We believe that New Zealand has much at stake and much to gain by adopting strong leadership on climate change emission reduction targets.”

Tauranga continues to grow quickly, and is exceeding growth forecasts in the two years since the development of the Long Term Plan 2015-2025. It means the council has had to re-prioritise some of Council’s planned investment to be able to build infrastructure in new development areas, and plan for future urban growth areas.

This has been discussed with the community through the last two Annual Plans, and changes have had to be made to planned budgets and work plans to cater for Tauranga’s growth.

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Posted on 01-10-2017 19:37 | By groutby

..your comment and request is way to rational mate, to expect lobby groups with a ’pre-determined’ agenda to reply is just not going to happen. As humans, we are bad people, all of us that do not fit the ’mould’ of the PC perfect world. The remaining 2-5% ( probably paid to pedal ’alternative’ facts) are the ones who want to push our buttons and make us feel inferior for actually breathing... it’s easy to be seriously over it! day (maybe soon) facts (that are actually FACT) will come to the table and we can act on it....

Curious and it doesn't really add up.

Posted on 28-09-2017 14:44 | By Murray.Guy

This carbon emissions testing, where ’exactly’ were they conducted, what times of the day? The BOP Regional Council have air quality monitoring stations in our most concentrated areas, I wonder if they bothered to consult with them. We have the largest, busiest port in New Zealand, highest tonnage goes in and out, huge concentrations of freight from outlying regions and cities. Is anybody really surprised that ’perhaps’ there are higher impacts on air quality. When something doesn’t add up I invariably find it’s a signal to dig deeper, ask more questions to identify the ’real agenda’. Rarely is there NOT a yet to be disclosed motive, when it comes to bureaucrats and Tauranga City Council elected members. No comment from ’health authorities’?


Posted on 28-09-2017 13:08 | By rastus

What is obvious to me is all the rubbish that comes out from ’so called’ educated employees of councils and Tauranga is no different - all around the western world ’wet behind the ears’ graduates are given projects by city managers in an effort to soak up their surplus to requirement employees. There are several valid points from your correspondents that these idiot council advisors would not have thought of let alone understand - just more crap from our local bureaucracy.


Posted on 28-09-2017 08:59 | By Papamoaner

I like your comment about electric cars. A vested interest initiative that will leave us with huge piles of dead batteries to dwarf our current used tyre problem. There is a limit to how many times you can re-charge, and Lithium is hard to dispose of. My pet obsession is flywheels. Flywheels can recharge upon braking, and also be recharged at charging stations just like batteries. Old fishing boats used them to drive the propeller and only needed a 2-stroke diesel engine that only fired twice per second to "kick" the flywheel, hence that characteristic "cough cough cough" we heard from those wonderful old boats. NASA had a gutsful of chemical batteries years ago and contracted University of Texas to develop flywheels for aerospace (google NASA flywheel number 4). Some vested interests would have us advance backwards (sic) if we let them.

Small fry in the general scheme of things

Posted on 28-09-2017 08:45 | By Papamoaner

Modern diesels operate active DPF systems (Diesel Particulate Filtering). You can wipe your finger around the inside of the tail pipe and get no soot. Doesn’t reduce CO2, but does eliminate particulates, so most of the claims against diesels are highly selective at best. If you really want to be afraid of air pollution, look at the big jets that fill nature’s upper atmospheric "jet streams" with exhaust gas in HUGE QUANTITIES compared to motor vehicles - hundreds of them flying 24/7. The jet streams are natural high velocity air flows that spread the stuff everywhere. Jet aircraft deliberately enter some jet streams so they can save fuel and reduce travel time by being "blown along" by the natural high velocity air streams. This is "pollution extraordinaire" nobody wants to talk about. Diesel trucks you say? - Insignificant by comparison!

Just how many times...

Posted on 28-09-2017 06:34 | By groutby we get to read of yet another"we are working on"...type comments. A "Holistic" approach to etc...what?... After re-reading this, there are NO specific factual details or remedies to consider, none....just theoretical and blatantly obvious results along with more rhetoric surrounding this. I guess the rewarded groups involved will claim their existence as a result of such discussion, but what is the tangeable result and future plan?. None, none at all just more speak...Only when we "could", we "should"..."the future plan" etc is replaced with clearly defined actions will anything actually change. As for electric cars becoming prominent within 10 years to actually make a difference, dream on it ain’t going to happen at such pace. But then, "interested" lobby groups will still be talking about such issues so there is no hurry there...


Posted on 27-09-2017 22:35 | By Capt_Kaveman

been in contact with BOPRC and they are plain deaf, as for what steve just said above as in problems with urban road design he just said the answer

Tauranga is

Posted on 27-09-2017 20:23 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Then as there is just one rail line in then obviously all surplus freight must travel my truck, what other choice is there? It would help heaps if there was a second rail line, so reducing road traffic, so reducing the need to build more roads. Oh dear how obvious is that?

@ Steve Morris

Posted on 27-09-2017 18:19 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Above is says "there’s little public transport" this statement misses the obvious, that worst factor is that the public transport that is available is crap, bad/useless timetable, inefficent and hopeless location for the CBD bus station. If the results of it are any reflection of thise running it then it is a complete disaster caused and created by the calibre of this making the decisions.

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