Charles Kirkby, Director and Air Quality Specialist

Charles Kirkby, Director and Air Quality Specialist

Charles Kirkby, Air Quality Specialist

Charles is an independent resource consent specialist, with over 25 years’ experience in the assessment and management of industrial air and odour emissions in New Zealand and the UK, including 4 years with the former Auckland Regional Council, 6 years with the engineering consultancy Beca and four years as director of an independent air quality consultancy – The Air We Breathe. He has extensive experience in odour investigations; in qualitative and quantitative assessment of effects of air emissions from industrial sources, coal and gas-fired combustion plant, wastewater handling and treatment and from strategic transport infrastructure projects; as well as in air quality monitoring.

Charles has detailed understanding of atmospheric dispersion modelling and in-depth knowledge of the RMA consent process from the perspectives of both operator and regulator; and is fully appreciative of regional council air assessment protocols and procedures. He has represented the Auckland Council (as reporting officer) and consent applicants at numerous resource consent hearings and in the Environment Court, and led the former Auckland Regional Council’s air discharge consents and compliance team for 15 months.

Originally qualified as a biochemist, Charles spent seven years working in biochemical research and manufacturing before moving into environmental management. In 2018, he graduated from Massey University as a Master of Resource and Environmental Planning, with 1st class honours.


  • Master of Resource and Environmental Planning (1st class Honours), Massey University, 2018
  • Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK, 1993
  • BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, University of York, UK, 1981

Special competence         

  • Extensive experience in air discharge assessments for industrial air discharges and wastewater infrastructure
  • In-depth knowledge of the RMA consent process from initial review of applications through to resource consent hearings
  • Extensive knowledge of ambient air quality monitoring programmes
  • Atmospheric dispersion modelling (CALUPFF, AERMOD, AUSPLUME)
  • Dust and odour management
  • Environmental compliance audits


•  2014 on

•  2008 – 2014

•  2007 – 2008

•  2004 – 2007

•  2003

•  1992 – 2003

Director and Air Quality Specialist, The Air We Breathe

Senior Air Quality Specialist, Beca

Acting Manager, Air Quality Consents, Auckland Regional Council

Air Quality Officer / Senior Air Quality Officer, Auckland Regional Council

Senior Ambient Air Quality Technician, Watercare Laboratory Services

Senior Technical Officer, Environmental Health, Scarborough Borough Council, UK

Specific project experience

  • Assessments of air quality effects and resource consent applications
  • Reviewing and assessing resource consent applications
  • Wastewater infrastructure
  • Waste oil reprocessing
  • Hazardous waste treatment
  • Coating of metal
  • Printworks
  • Animal feeds
  • Asphalt plant
  • Concrete batching plant
  • Coal combustion
  • Chemical manufacture
  • Galvanising
  • Mangrove removal (open burning)
  • Tanning
  • Major roading projects – construction and operation
  • Reverse sensitivity effects for the tall buildings
  • Tanning
  • Galvanising
  • Non-ferrous foundry operations
  • Hazardous waste treatment
  • Brickworks
  • Concrete batching plant
  • Printworks
  • Coating of metal
  • Quarrying
  • Asphalt plant
  • Food processing plant
  • Stormwater discharges
  • Environmental management:
  • Ambient air quality monitoring:
  • Environmental management plans:
    • Major road and rail construction projects
    • Quarrying
    • Animal feed processing
    • Concrete batching plant
    • Hazardous waste treatment
    • Abrasive blasting
  • Odour investigations
    • Catering
    • Waste oil reprocessing
  • Regional air quality monitoring network
  • Project-specific air quality monitoring
  • Set-up and operation of monitoring sites
  • Project management
  • Data handling, interpretation and reporting

Index Next