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BurningTe tahu

Find out about what you can and can't burn on your property. Air quality problems can be reported to the Pollution Response team on 0800 108 838.

Indoor fires

Only burn dry wood and paper in your wood burner. If wood isn't properly dried, it burns with less heat and produces lots of smoke, polluting the air.  Burning other materials can cause toxic smoke and affect air quality. Find out more about good wood merchants, and more info and tips about getting the best out of your wood burner here.

Outdoor burning

What can I burn?

Materials you can burn at certain times of year (see ‘when can I burn’ below):

  • Dry vegetation
  • Untreated timber
  • Paper and cardboard

What can’t I burn?

Materials you must not burn, ever:
It is prohibited to burn these materials as they are extremely damaging to air quality:

  • Animal waste (unless generated on production land)
  • Tyres and other rubber
  • Waste oil, or any other hydrocarbons
  • Painted Wood, treated wood, plywood
  • Chipboard
  • Plastic
  • Asbestos
  • Medical or chemical waste
  • Any combination of metals and combustible materials, including coated or covered cables.
  • Any synthetic material
  • Peat.

When can I burn?

  • Under Regional Council rules if your property falls within the Napier or Hastings airsheds outdoor burning is prohibited during the months of May, June, July and August (inclusive). Use the mapping tool below to check if your property falls into an airshed
  • Under Regional Council rules you can burn outdoors from September-April so long as you have:
    • Checked with your city or district council to make sure you aren’t breaching their bylaws, AND
    • checked with Fire Emergency NZ regarding fire bans and whether you may need a permit, AND
    • that you are not burning any of the prohibited items list above, AND
    • made sure that smoke, ash or odour from your fire is not causing a problem beyond your property boundary. Smoke cannot block visibility on nearby roads.

Where can I burn?

  • Use the tool below to check if your property falls within the Napier or Hastings airsheds. If your property falls into the blue or red zones on the map you may not burn outdoors during the months May, June, July, and August (inclusive)
  • Under Regional Council rules, if your property does not fall within the Napier or Hastings airsheds you may burn so long as you:
    • Checked with your city or district council to make sure you aren’t breaching their bylaws, AND
    • checked with Fire Emergency NZ regarding fire bans and whether you may need a permit, AND
    • are not burning any of the prohibited items list above, AND
    • have checked that smoke, ash or odour from your fire is not causing a problem beyond your property boundary. Smoke cannot block visibility on nearby roads. 

Reporting burning problems

If you or your property is affected by outdoor burning, call our Pollution team - Pollution Hotline: 24/7 - 0800 108838. Find out more about our pollution team here.

Special cases/exemptions:

There are specific rules restricting the outdoor burning on trade or industrial sites.
• They cannot burn materials outdoors without a resource consent, OR
• They cannot burn materials without proper incineration equipment – a purpose built incinerator or boiler with a chimney and a way of controlling temperature (44 gallon drums are not incinerators), AND
• They aren’t burning waste generated on another property, AND
• They aren’t burning any of the prohibited items listed on this page, AND
• They are complying with city or district council bylaws, and Fire Emergency NZ’s requirements.

Growers may burn outdoors during May, June, July, and August if there are no other practical or reasonable onsite disposal methods. Burning may only occur for:
• Orchard or vineyard redevelopment - Where production trees are removed and being replanted. Allowing orchards to go back to pasture or crop planting is not redevelopment.
• Disposal of diseased plant material.
However, there are strict conditions for this:
• The burning of prunings is not permitted.
• Fires must be lit in a way to reduce smoke and hazards, AND
• none of the prohibited items listed on this page are being burnt, AND
• they are complying with city or district council bylaws, and Fire Emergency NZ’s requirements.

Burning on horticultural production land is not permitted if:
• the wind is likely to cause smoke to drift towards the Napier or Hastings airsheds, block visibility on nearby roads, OR
• under calm conditions where the wind speed at 1m above ground is less than 3 metres for second.

Fires for cooking such as BBQs, hāngi and umu are permitted at any times so long as:
• They aren’t burning any of the prohibited items listed on this page, AND
• They are complying with city or district council bylaws, and Fire Emergency NZ’s requirements.
• The fire does not cause nuisance smoke/odour for neighbouring properties. Smoke cannot block visibility on nearby roads

For more information about reporting burning incidents, check out our pollution page.

Pollution complaints

FAQs

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Outdoor burning is burning in the ground, on the ground, or in a container, outside of a building. It includes burning in a heap, burning in a drum, burning of standing vegetation, campfires, barbecues, bonfires, hangis, umus and braziers or other solid fuel patio heaters and appliances.

Smoke from burning gets up your nose, in your eyes and in your clothes. It can be very toxic or just a nuisance to neighbours. 

There are regulations controlling outdoor burning in Hawke's Bay, but it is in Air Zones 1 and 2 that we have the most concerns about air quality. The regulations are toughest in those airsheds. Check the airshed map on this page to find out if your property falls in to an airshed.

Either speak with your neighbour or contact our Pollution Hotline on 0800 108838 (24/7), noting down address, date, time, photo if possible and a description of your complaint.

Smoke from chimneys that is dark grey, black or brown.  White smoke generally indicates responsible burning.

We recommend you check if your outdoor burning requires a permit from your local district or city council, Fire and Emergency NZ and in some cases, Department of Conservation.

Any rubber including tyres, rubber tubes, and foam rubber.

Any treated timber including plywood, chipboard, particle board and fibreboard.
Used oil and other petrol related products. This includes oil, diesel, and turpentine.

Food waste.

Any chemicals, including garden sprays and agricultural chemicals.

All plastics, including disposal nappies.

Paints of all kinds including varnish, glues, adhesives, and polyurethanes.

Apart from the no outdoor fire complete bans within airsheds from May 1 to August 31, You can check and apply online at Fire & Emergency NZ here.

Airsheds

An airshed is a legally designated air quality management area. In New Zealand, regional councils and unitary authorities have identified areas to be managed as airsheds for the purposes of the national environmental standards for air quality.

The majority of our airsheds may have levels of pollutants that exceed the national environmental standards for air quality. Some airsheds are also identified based on factors such as

  • number of people living in the airshed now or in the future
  • unique weather patterns and geography
  • local air emissions, such as local industrial activity, that need to be specifically considered and managed. 

Find out if you are in an Airshed

Enter your address below. If your property falls into the blue or red zones on the map you cannot burn outdoors during the months May, June, July, and August (inclusive).

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