Vehicle use and emissions

Graphic Image for Getting Better

Number of vehicles registered in Rotorua district
Vehicle kilometres travelled (vkt)
Carbon dioxide emissions equivalent (CO2e) 


Purpose of indicator

The number of vehicle kilometres travelled (vkt) indicates the pressure on local roading infrastructure as well as the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Knowing trends in vkt is also important for safe and well designed infrastructure planning.

Current information and trend

Trends in figure 1 and figure 2 both show a small decline in vkt and CO2 equivalent (CO2e) greenhouse gas emissions, which is a positive outcome for the environment. These trends correspond to one another as expected.

Image of Trends of CO2 emissions from road transport (Chart)
Figure 1
Source: New Zealand Transport Authority, 2012

From 2005/06 to 2009/10 CO2e emissions remained relatively steady, with a very small decrease shown by the trend line. While it is only a small decrease, it is a good outcome for the environment and is headed in the right direction to achieve New Zealand’s 2050 target of reducing emissions to levels 50% less than those for 1990 (based on net emissions).

The decrease in emissions is likely to be the result of increasing fuel prices (figure 4) and less spending on new vehicles. The number of vehicles registered in Rotorua district has also decreased after peaking in 2008 (figure 3). Petrol prices have almost doubled in New Zealand since 2004, (figure 4) which may have influenced the number of vehicles registered as well as vkt, hence lowered greenhouse gas emissions.

Image of Rotorua District vehicle travelled- kilometres (chart)
Figure 2
Source: New Zealand Transport Authority, 2012
Note: data only available to 2010/2011 at the time of writing

Figure 2 shows vehicle kilometres travelled in Rotorua as a percentage of New Zealand total vkt. Since 2003/2004 the trend shows a decline in this percentage from approximately 1.3% in the respective year, to 1% in 2011

Image of Percentage of Vehicles registered in Rotorua District (Chart)
Figure 3
Source: New Zealand Transport Authority, 2011

Image of Trend of Regular Petrol Retail Price (Chart)
Figure 4.
Source: Ministry of Economic Development, 2011.

In summary

  • Vehicle kilometres travelled has decreased as has CO2e emissions
  • The number of vehicles registered in Rotorua district peaked in 2008 and has since been decreasing
  • Fuel prices have almost doubled since 2004
  • Page reviewed: 03 Jul 2019 10:12am