News Flash

30-Apr-2015, 08:22 am

Clarifying fireplace situation

Aucklanders can continue to use their older woodburners (pre-2005) and open fires this winter.

From The New Zealand Herald (April 30, 2015)

What is the story now with open fires and woodburners? We were told we would not be able to use them after May this year but have heard no more about it. Christina Southgate, Auckland

On April 1 (I kid you not) Auckland Council received an update on air-quality regulations which showed more work with the Government was needed. In the meantime, Aucklanders can continue to use their older woodburners (pre-2005) and open fires this winter.

It is estimated the ban would have affected 17,000 households with open fireplaces and 64,000 with woodburners.

Until the council is satisfied that any additional measures are appropriate for Auckland and are a reasonable response to the national regulations, no further measures will be introduced.

Earlier this year, the council welcomed a recommendation from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment to review air quality regulations due to recent scientific advances.

This included the need to measure smaller particulate matter in the air, PM2.5, that is more harmful to human health in the long term.

Current air regulations require the measurement of PM10 - larger particles/short term - and the Regulatory and Bylaws Committee agreed that a longer-term view was needed to assess the health effects for the Auckland region.

The council's restrictions on the burning of rubbish, wet wood, tanalised timber and high sulphur coal remain in effect. These have been in place since 2008.


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