Four NZ cities record decreasing air quality
By KATE CHAPMAN - NZPA | Thursday, 18 October 2007

Air quality has decreased in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, according to the Ministry of Social Development.

In a report released today, all four cities recorded a drop in air quality from 2005.

In Christchurch and Dunedin the air quality was below the officially acceptable level.

Hamilton was the only other city where air quality was measured. Its level remained the same as 2005. Let's hear it for Hamilton.

Nationwide the social divide between rural areas and cities has remained.

Ministry head of social development policy and knowledge Don Gray said the gaps were starting to close.

"The majority of indicators have improved across most regions. As in previous years cities do better on average and rural areas, especially in the North Island, tend to do worse."

The poorest regions, such as Gisborne and Northland, have shown the most improvement in a number of significant areas, including a fall in unemployment and participation in early childhood education.

"Between 2001 and 2006, Northland, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay saw greater improvements than the national average for unemployment. Over the same period, the number of families with low incomes declined the most in the three regions with the poorest outcomes for this indicator - Northland and Gisborne again, as well as the West Coast," Mr Gray said.

From here.