DEVELOPING CAPACITY AND INFORMATION TOOLS FOR VEHICLE EMISSIONS POLICY IN NEW ZEALAND
Worldwide, the increasing deterioration in urban air quality due to vehicle emissions has created the need for greater capacity in air quality management and more comprehensive knowledge about the sources and spatial and temporal distribution of vehicle emissions, without which impact studies and subsequent mitigation policy cannot be formulated. To investigate this proposition and assist with the design/development of new air quality information tools for this evolving context, this research examines the generation and use of air quality information in New Zealand, through two case studies. The first case study examines NZTER, a tool used for generating 'vehicle fleet emission rates information' used in a number of different models for air quality assessment and transport policy. The second case examines the early stages of the development and operationalisation of an integrated environmental management tool, the VFEM-w, which hopes to quantify/model the type, source and pathways of airborne pollutants entering the urban stormwater water system. While the NZTER is uncomplicated, it is inefficient and produces information of insufficient quality in the current policy-making context. The VFEM-w case illustrates the challenges of attempting to embed a conceptually and technically complex model in an existing cultural, technical and political setting. Recommendations for the use and development of air quality information tools are made and closing comments consider the issue of information quality in sustainable management.
Air quality, environmental information, sustainable management, information tools, institutional capacity, vehicle emissions policy, New Zealand
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