Why has the Regional Council made it more difficult to install a wood burner into a property that doesn't have an existing one?
Since 2007 the Regional Council has been funding the upgrading of existing wood burners to cleaner burning appliances in the Rotorua Airshed. Newer technology produces less smoke, cleaner air, and improved health for the community.
While the community, with Council's support, have been upgrading their old burners there were no restrictions on installing new burners, into homes that didn't have existing ones. Many new wood burners got installed in the Rotorua Airshed adding more smoke and undermining the community's efforts to reduce wood burner smoke.
A new rule requires the person wanting to install a new wood burner in Rotorua to find someone who is willing to take their fire out. One burner goes out – one goes in. This is called offsetting. One fire offsets the other. The Regional Council aren’t banning wood burners (like some South Island towns and cities) but we are saying, "If you want to add smoke into a community that is working hard to reduce their smoke from wood burners, then you need to find someone who is prepared to take their fire out, before you can put one in." This is a community health issue and everyone needs to play their part.
What should you do?
You can install a wood burner that is on the Ministry for the Environment’s Authorised wood burner list that has an emission rate of less than or equal to 0.60g/kg but first you must apply for a Resource Consent from Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
Click here for the Resource Consent Application for installing a new wood burner into a property that doesn't currently have one.