Indicators at a glance - Transport
This section summarises the latest Environmental Health Indicators about transport and health in New Zealand.
Transport can impact on our health through a number of ways: road traffic injuries and deaths, air pollution, noise pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and barriers to accessing services due to a lack of transport.
Active transport (eg walking and cycling) and public transport have positive health benefits, such as on mental well-being, physical activity and cardiovascular health.
- In 2015, there were almost 3.9 million vehicles in New Zealand - the highest number ever.
- New Zealand has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world. In 2015, there were 767 light vehicles per 1000 people in New Zealand.
|Main mode of transport to work on Census day
- In 2013, 82% of commuters used a car, truck or van as their main mode of transport to work on Census day.
- About 9.7% of commuters used active transport (walking, jogging or cycling). A further 5.7% of commuters used public transport.
- There has been no change in the combined use of active or public transport to work from 2001 (15.4%) to 2013 (15.4%).
- Wellington and Nelson regions have the highest use of active and public transport to work.
|Household travel time by mode of transport
- In 2011–14, New Zealanders spent 79% of their travel time in motor vehicles (cars, vans or motorcycles). About 15% of travel time was spent walking or cycling. A further 4% was spent on public transport.
- There has been little change over time in the proportion of time spent on different transport modes.
- Active transport was used most in the Otago, Gisborne, Wellington and Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman regions.
- Public transport was used the most in Wellington, Auckland and Southland.
|Active transport to and from school
- The percentage of children walking to school dropped from 42% in 1989/90 to 29% in 2010-14. For cycling, the percentage dropped from 12% in 1989/90 to 2% in 2010-14.
- In 2015/16, 46% of children aged 5-14 years used active transport to and from school. There has been no major change since 2006/07.
- Children in Northland and Wairarapa District Health Boards (DHBs) had a lower use of active transport to school than the national rate in 2011-15.
|Unmet need for GP services due to lack of transport
- In 2015/16, 2.8% of children and 3.2% of adults had a medical problem but did not visit a GP due to a lack of transport, in the past 12 months.
- There has been little change in this rate since 2011/12.
- There were higher rates of this unmet need in Māori (8.2% of adults and 5.3% of children), Pacific (8.6% of adults and 7.4% of children) and people living in high deprivation areas (6.7% of children and adults).
- Rates of unmet GP need due to a lack of transport were higher in Hawke's Bay, Hutt and Counties Manukau DHBs.
|Health burden due to road transport
||Road transport was estimated to be responsible for 650 deaths in New Zealand in 2012.
These deaths included:
- 308 deaths due to traffic crashes
- 218 deaths due to particulate matter (PM10)
- 65 deaths due to nitrogen dioxide exposure
- 59 deaths due to noise pollution.