What are the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality?

The National Environmental Standards for Air Quality (NES) are regulations made under the Resource Management Act 1991 which aim to set a guaranteed minimum level of health protection for all New Zealanders.

The NES came into effect on 8 October 2004. They are made up of 14 separate but interlinked standards.

These include:

  • seven standards banning activities that discharge significant quantities of dioxins and other toxics into the air
  • five standards for ambient (outdoor) air quality
  • a design standard for new wood burners installed in urban areas
  • a requirement for landfills over 1 million tonnes of refuse to collect greenhouse gas emissions