Consultation opens on draft bylaw for indoor domestic fires

Press Release – Auckland Council

28 February, 2017

Consultation opens on draft bylaw for indoor domestic fires

Public consultation started this week on a draft bylaw that sets out rules for how Aucklanders can use their indoor domestic fires.

The purpose of the Auckland Council Draft Air Quality Bylaw for Indoor Domestic Fires is to re-establish the rules for indoor fires that were in the former Auckland Council Regional Plan: Air, Land and Water, which has now expired.

The bylaw proposes to manage what can be burned in indoor fires, such as wet wood, tanalised wood and some type of coal. It also identifies where in Auckland the rules will apply. For large-lot urban properties it also determines what type of new wood burners can be installed.

“Like the rest of New Zealand, Auckland’s air quality is impacted by air pollution from several sources, including indoor domestic fires. The draft bylaw will help to manage the city’s air quality,” says Mike Sinclair, Manager Social Policy and Bylaws at Auckland Council.

The draft bylaw was endorsed by council’s Regulatory Committee earlier this month and then approved for public consultation by council’s Governing Body.

Regulatory Committee Chair, Councillor Linda Cooper, says the draft bylaw takes into account the unquestionable need for continuous improvement of Auckland’s air quality and the impact on Aucklanders.

“There was a strong community message in 2014 that people did not want a ban on open fires, so it is pleasing that environmental improvements since then have allowed us to present a new draft bylaw proposing alternative ways to reduce the impact of household fires on our region’s air quality.”

Since 2014 Auckland has not breached the national air quality standard for airborne particulates, even in winter when households are using their indoor fires.

“The draft bylaw focuses on re-establishing Auckland’s baseline rules in order to maintain good air quality and keep building on the improvements of recent years,” says Mike Sinclair.

To read the draft bylaw and make a submission, visit shapeauckland.co.nz.

The council welcomes submissions on the draft bylaw from 27 February to 27 March. Public hearings will take place in April for those wishing to verbally present their written submissions to a hearings panel.

It is intended that the bylaw is in place for winter 2017.

ENDS

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