The Causes And Challenges Of Air Pollution In New Zealand

2097 Words 9 Pages
Air Pollution in New Zealand

The policy domain that I have chosen to focus my assignment on is health. The longstanding issue that I will focus my assignment on is that of air pollution from particulate matter in the residential sector. Particulate matter is very, very small particles that come from combustion of certain materials, such as burning fossil fuels, running automobiles and operating factories . These particles are very hazardous to human health, when we breathe in these particles they can get trapped in our lungs; this can cause major health problems such as shortness of breath, asthma, lung damage and even death. This air pollution is a major challenge for those working with healthcare policy. This issue is most prevalent in areas
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The issue of air pollution due to particulate matter can occur horizontally (between regions or councils), vertically (between councils and nations or regions) or in various combinations of the two . By definition, a spatial scale is a scale in relation to size and distance. The issue of particulate matter in New Zealand is an issue that is widespread across the country, and the size of the issue varies from city to city. The councils in the worst affected areas such as Timaru, Otago, Nelson and Christchurch , will have to place more importance on this issue than lesser affected areas such as Wellington and Hamilton. The key policy challenge facing healthcare policy is the impact of particulate matter on citizen’s health – the number of deaths it causes per year and the financial impact this has on hospitals. This widespread issue has common health effects such as the irritation of the nose, throat and lungs – for individuals with pre-existing respiratory issues; breathing in the particulate matter exacerbates these conditions. Studies have shown that particulate matter can increase the number of hospital admissions and Emergency Department visits, placing strain on hospitals …show more content…
policy responses to sustainability problems have implications for social and economic arrangements . In the case of particulate matter, if the combustion of fossil fuels by the residential sector was to be reduced, there would not be much impact on overall levels of particulate matter unless combustion is reduced by factories and automobiles as well. It would be difficult for factories to operate and make a profit in the economy, if they are unable to burn wood and coal for energy - this in turn will have social impacts on households. Further, this complex issue also includes automobiles, which would stunt our economy if households and businesses had to cut down on their use. Combustion of fossil fuels is not the only source of particulate matter in New Zealand, about 10-20% of particulate matter comes from natural sources such as sea salt, pollen and dust . Air pollution is also not solely caused by particulate matter, but also from landfill gas, which contributes to greenhouse gasses as well as other sources. It becomes hard for policy analysts to determine whether policy needs to only address particulate matter, or these other areas as well. Creating solutions to the policy problem of air pollution will cause flow on effects that may harm the economy and social

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