The following description was taken from Reducing harmful vehicle emissions from road transport :

The Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand 2016 (HAPINZ 3.0) study, released in July 2022, shows that exposure to human-made air pollution has serious impacts on the health of New Zealanders.

Transport is responsible for the majority of the harms caused by human-made air pollution.

Transport emissions are responsible for all the health impacts caused by nitrogen dioxide (NO2) which come from exhaust gas. Transport emissions are also responsible for 17 percent of the health impacts of fine particles in the air we breathe. Each year, this results in:

  • the premature deaths of more than 2,200 adult New Zealanders
  • more than 9,200 hospital admissions for respiratory and cardiac illnesses,
  • over 13,200 cases of childhood asthma

The social cost of the health burden of transport emissions is $10.5 billion.

Diesel vehicles make up 23% of our vehicle fleet, but produce most of the pollutants of concern to human health: nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. These have multiple negative health effects, especially for children. Particulates are known to be carcinogenic, and nitrogen oxides cause respiratory and cardiovascular damage, and can contribute to smog.