Household environmental impacts in New Zealand : a case study of Auckland : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Environmental Management, Massey University, New Zealand

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The New Zealand environmental context is reviewed in light of international environmental efforts and agreements about climate change with a view to understanding why environmental impacts are relevant at the household level. The global, national and local environmental management structure is discussed leading into a discussion of how household environmental impacts have been measured and by whom. A survey was undertaken of two parts of North Auckland, New Zealand; Torbay and Helensville/Kaukapakapa in order to understand if the international goal of reducing human environmental impact is followed through at the household level. It investigated the environmental impacts of energy use and conservation, water consumption and conservation, waste and recycling, transport, and environmental awareness. Results were compared with similar data around New Zealand and worldwide. Conclusions show the people of Helensville/Kaukapakapa and Torbay are environmentally conscious but unwilling to alter household infrastructure or behaviour unless it is deemed to be a financially beneficial option for them. Convenience is a factor in household environmental impact in both a rural and suburban context. New Zealand households could be doing more to reduce household environmental impacts, however, where cost or convenience is a barrier this survey shows that they are unwilling to do so. Results also showed that participants gain environmental knowledge primarily from media sources. Recommendations are made that are aimed at encouraging the uptake of environmental behaviours and increasing environmental awareness. They include increasing subsidies on sustainable changes to houses and the accuracy of environmental reporting in the media and online.
Household sustainability, Sustainable living, Auckland households, Environmental awareness, Environmental protection participation, Torbay, Helensville, Household energy use, Household water consumption, Household waste