What do you do if your neighbour's fire is a nuisance? Or you are affected by dust or odour. Find out what air quality problems you can report to the Pollution Response team on 0800 108 838.
On this page you can find information about the following:
You can talk to your neighbour or contact your local council if a fire is causing a nuisance or hazard. For fires in industrial and rural areas please contact our Pollution Hotline 0800 108 838 and talk to a Compliance Officer.
No outdoor burning is permitted in the Napier or Hastings air sheds each winter from from 1 May to 31 August. Exceptions are:
Maps showing the airsheds are available here.
We want clean, healthy air in Hawke's Bay. Smoke, fumes, odours and other products of combustion have a major impact on air quality. Apart from natural forest fires and geothermal activities, combustion/burning is the result of people’s activities.Burning has a major impact on human health and activity. It smells and can aggravate or cause lung conditions and cause sore eyes.
HBRC has consulted with the community and set rules through the Regional Resource Management Plan to limit the effects of smoke from industrial, agricultural and home based activities. Local city and district councils also have their own rules about burning and should be contacted to check whether you are able to light a fire.
HBRC has run a campaign to encourage orchardists and farmers to manage fires, so that dry material only is included and that no accelerants are used (ie no tyres or waste oil which produce damaging toxic fumes).
It is prohibited to burn these materials as they are extremely damaging to air quality:
By-laws are to ensure safe and responsible fires. Check with your local district or city council for what these are. They may include things like:
Trade and industrial sites cannot burn in the open in addition to the other requirements. You must use fuel burning equipment that has a chimney and a way of controlling the temperature and oxygen. The old 44-gallon drum is not good enough. Also check your local council by-laws.
For fire emergencies dial 111 and ask for fire. Be prepared to give information on location, including rapid number in rural areas and description of the fire.
When you dial 111 for an emergency, Rural Fire Units of trained volunteers will be the first to arrive in rural areas. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in conjunction with Property Brokers have donated the proceeds from the Small Block Field Day Charity Auction for a number of years to support this rural community service. Join your local Rural Fire Service and you will make new friends and learn new skills.
For more information: Rural Fire Service Website - Hastings District Council
The rules and policies for burning waste are in the Regional Resource Management Plan, rule 19 in section 6. This rule covers activities like vegetation burnoffs, domestic rubbish and garden waste and orchard prunings. Industrial and trade sites require fuel burning equipment (they cannot burn in the open). If you cannot meet this rule you require a resource consent. Don forget to also check the local by-laws.
Wind blown dust ‘n dirt Dust is an issue in Hawke’s Bay because of the high level of tillage for agriculture and horticulture. Wind drifted dust and dirt affects neighbouring properties, particularly in higher density residential areas. Dust can be made up of a wide range of fine solids – soil, pollen, and discharge from industrial activities.
The Council has undertaken ambient monitoring for dust at a number of sites – Taradale (Napier), Ardkeen (Wairoa district), Whanawhana (West of Napier) and Tukipo (Southern hill country).
Tillage of soil that coincides with equinoxial gales can result in huge dust storms, which can carry soil a long way. The Regional Council encourages low tillage methods with croppers. Pollen can also affected health. At times around Hawke’s Bay drifts of yellow powder can been seen in the streets. It occurs naturally (mostly from pine forests) so the Regional Council has no management role. Contact your health professional if you suffer allergic reactions to wind-borne pollen.
Complaints about odour (smell) are the most common type of air quality complaint to the Regional Council but this has been decreasing in recent years.
Odour can be a problem at any time where activities are not appropriately managed. It is particularly a problem where residential areas are adjacent to industry, food processing plants, composting operations and agriculture.
The region’s guideline for odour is: “There should be no offensive or objectionable odour beyond the boundary of the subject property”.
The Regional Council has worked with a number of industries that have had repeated odour emission problems. This can include ensuring that processing is undertaken properly, that ventilation systems are operating, that offending material is correctly disposed of, or that emissions don’t occur in certain wind or climate conditions.
Management of waste is a common cause of odour, especially if material is stockpiled or not worked properly (such as compost).
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