Is my fire legal?
From 2005 onwards, new fires are manufactured to meet the new government standards. Older fires contribute to the air quality problem because they are less efficient and have higher pollutant emissions. HBRC rules state that non-compliant fires are or will be prohibited from use, with the older fires being phased out first. However, HBRC can help with the cost of replacing these older wood burners with clean heat options. See our grants and loans page.
Which fires are now illegal?
- If your property sits on less than 2 hectares in Airzone 1 (see map in related documents below), you can now no longer use an open fire.
- You can now no longer use non-complying fires installed before August 2005.
- If your property is less than 2 hectares and located within Airzone 1 (see map in related documents below) then any non-compliant wood burner or open fire is prohibited from use when the property is transferred to a new owner.
- During the months of May to August (inclusive) outdoor burning is not allowed unless a resource consent is obtained. Permitted Activities: burning taking place on horticultural production land for the purposes of disease control or redevelopment; Fires used for cooking such as BBQ's pizza ovens, hangi or brazier.
Which fires will become illegal in the future?
- Non-complying burners installed after 31 August 2005 cannot be used after 1 January 2018 in Airzone 1 of the Hastings Airshed and 1 January 2020 in the Airzone of the Napier Airshed.
- Properties greater than 2 hectares in size, or located in Airzone 2 of the Hastings or Napier Airsheds can continue to use their existing burners or open fires, however, on replacing the burner, the relevant national burner emission limits must be complied with.
What action should I take?
We recommend that you check whether your current fire is non-compliant, or will become non-compliant during the phase out until 2020. You can quickly check the compliant fires here.
We encourage rate payers with non-compliant fires to access the funding available from HBRC (see Grants and Loans page), as it is available for a limited period of time while the programme runs. Alternatively you can stop using a non-compliant fire without replacing it.
What action are we taking?
City Councils keep records of permits for replacing fires from 2005 and ECCA (the government funding agent) has records of all subsidy and grant applications since 2009 when the scheme was introduced. HBRC also have records of all loans and grants made. From this information we can see which properties have not accessed the funding to convert to clean heat or have applied for a permit.
Our priority at this stage is making sure homeowners are aware of what is required and what assistance is available. However, failure to comply with the rules could result in a fine of $300 as stipulated under the Resource Management Act.