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Indoor Open Fires


It has been illegal to use an indoor open fire, even if you are renting the house. You can keep the fireplace and no alterations are necessary. You just can't use it.

Why have indoor open fires been phased out? 

Indoor open fires produce a lot of pollution.  Most indoor open fires are only 20% heating efficient. Heat is lost up the chimney. By banning the use of indoor open fires an estimated 6 tonnes of fine particulates has been removed from our air. This is 12% of our target.

Do I need to make my indoor open fire inoperable?

If you sell your house then you must comply with the Point of Sale Rule by removing the fire bricks, sealing and blocking off the cavity and capping the chimney. If you are not selling your property there is no obligation to cap the chimney (or seal off the fire cavity), however, we strongly recommend you do. If you do this you will stop:

I have a business that has an indoor open fire. Is this bylaw only for residential houses?

No. The bylaw covers all properties in the Rotorua Airshed. If your business is using an indoor open fire exclusively for the smoking or cooking of food it is exempt from the Bylaw. If an indoor open fire is located within a building which has been entered onto the Heritage List by Heritage New Zealand then it is exempt from the Bylaw. All other indoor open fires are illegal to use. 

What will happen if I use the indoor open fire?

The bylaw allows for fines to be imposed on people who use an open fire.

I rent a property that has an indoor open fire - can I use it?

No. It's illegal to use the open fire in your rented house.  You will need to use another form of heating.  We advise you to talk to your landlord about installing another heating appliance.