The Good Wood Scheme

This page details the Good Wood Scheme and provides a list of suppliers.

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Good Wood Suppliers 

The following companies are Good Wood Suppliers.

Bay Firewood Arlun Wells
315 Takaka-Collingwood Highway

03 525 9560

027 769 6348

Richmond Wood and Coal Barry Newport
and Duane Whiting
Beach Road, Richmond

03 544 6473

Buyright Firewood Gordon Evans  

021 127 8957

Wholesale Firewood Kylie Stringer

03 546 9595

027 922 9611

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Look for the Good Wood Tick

Good Wood Logo Landscape 200px

When you choose a Good Wood supplier, you're opting for a trusted source of dry firewood that will burn well, helping to keep your home warmer and our air cleaner.

Remember to clean your chimney annually too. Not only is this important to help prevent chimney fires, it will also help your wood burner run more efficiently.

Burning firewood with a moisture content of more than 25% is banned in Tasman and Nelson. Green wood that has recently been cut or wood that has not been stored properly or for long enough will have a higher moisture content and will not meet this requirement so should not be used for burning.

Council’s Good Wood Scheme participants have agreed to supply Nelson and Tasman householders with either:

  • Seasoned firewood, suitable for immediate use during the winter months, or
  • Green (unseasoned) firewood delivered sufficiently far in advance of winter so that, if properly stored by the user, it will be seasoned ready for use in the winter months.

When ordering seasoned wood from a Good Wood supplier, request that the wood complies with Council’s moisture requirements. If it doesn’t, don’t accept the delivery.

A Good Wood supplier will have a moisture meter to measure the moisture content of wood if you wish to confirm that wood being delivered is dry enough to use.

Alternatively, you can buy green wood in time for it to be seasoned before winter. Wood will take between 4 and 12 months to season. Ensure that any green wood purchased is stored so that the air can circulate freely and is sheltered from rain.

Good Wood suppliers and Council encourage people to buy wood in plenty of time before winter starts. 

Remember to get enough kindling to help with starting your fire.

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Firewood Tips

Be Aware of 'Roadside' Supply

If you choose to purchase firewood from a 'side of the road' source, you may get caught out with a green load. When wood is difficult to burn, it does not produce as much heat as dry wood, it will be extremely smoky, reducing cost effectiveness and will clog your flue with creosote, and become dangerous quite quickly.

Collecting Your Own Firewood

If you have cut down a tree, stack it and allow it to season for 12 months before burning. Split wood dries faster. 

Cut into suitable sized lengths in a variety of sizes for your wood burner as well.  Chunks that are too large will not burn properly, meaning less heat and more smoke. 

Cut enough kindling to help with starting your fire.

Do Not Burn Treated Timber!

Timber treated with preservatives such as CCA (copper chrome arsenic treatment) must never be burnt.  Burning treated wood exposes yourself and your family to its dangerous chemicals and the ash also causes long term issues in the environment.

Arsenic is released into the atmosphere when treated wood is burnt. Significant levels of arsenic has shown up in our wintertime air quality monitoring and this source is from treated timber being used for domestic fires.

Please contact the Council if you are unsure whether the wood you are burning is treated. Treated wood offcuts should be sent to landfill.

You should also avoid burning painted timber.  Some painted timber still has paint that contains lead and the lead will also enter the air you breathe through the smoke. 

Getting the Best Heat Efficiency

Smoke = lost heat = lost money.

Start with plenty of crumpled paper and dry kindling wood and keep all the air vents wide open. Your Good Wood supplier can provide faster burning wood for kindling.

A Good Wood Supplier says, “It’s important to start with small pieces of wood and gradually add bigger bits as the fire builds up. Some people are tempted to put large logs on too soon, thinking they’ll get warm faster.  It’s actually much worse; you just produce more smoke and can sometimes put the fire out altogether.”

The ideal size for your firewood is a thickness of about 10 – 15 centimetres. That will ensure your fire keeps ticking over and producing the best warmth while keeping the smoke down. Change to longer burning wood once fire is established.

Do not damp down the fire. There is a false belief that damping down the fire will keep the house warmer for longer. It doesn't, because lots of smoke means lost heat and lost heat means lost money and wasted fuel. Low temperature burning increases chimney accumulations of water and unburnt wasted products, called creosote, not a warm house.

Keep Your Chimney Clean

Remember to clean your chimney annually. If done well, this will help prevent chimney fires, and help your wood burner run more efficiently.

Chimney fires are caused by a build-up of creosote in chimneys when wet wood is burnt or wood is burnt at low temperatures. A chimney fire can quickly lead to a house fire.

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About the Good Wood Scheme

Richmond and parts of Nelson can have poor winter air quality with excessive amounts of small particles (PM10) causing pollution. The major cause of poor air quality is smoke emissions from inefficient burning in domestic open fires and enclosed burners. The way people manage their wood supplies and how they operate their burner plays a significant part in determining how much of these particles are produced.

The Nelson City and Tasman District Councils wish to promote the Good Wood Supplier scheme as a way of contributing to better wood burner operation.  It is a joint project between the Councils and wood suppliers, who undertake to supply firewood according to best practice and contribute to improving air quality in Nelson and Richmond.

Using Good Wood also means you can be sure that you can operate your wood burner more efficiently, saving you money.  Burning dry and seasoned wood gives better heat for cost as well as lower emissions. 

Smoke can cause localised health and nuisance problems for people living nearby.  Operating wood burners to minimise smoke also looks after your neighbours. 

The Council monitors the levels of particulates in the air in the Richmond Airshed and updates the web page daily.

Get information about Richmond Airshed Monitoring