We use a mix of education and advice, and rules to through the Tasman Resource Management Plan, to maintain and improve our air quality.
Outside of the Richmond Airshed, if you wish to install a new wood burner or replace an existing wood burner in any of the following zones, or on any site less than two hectares, only a wood burner (including pellet fires) which meets the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality may be installed.
The Ministry for the Environment maintains a list of authorised wood burners and your local retailer can also provide you with information about clean air compliant wood burners.
You will also require Building Consent for the installation of the wood burner.
Outside of the listed areas, you may install a wood burner of your choice, however Council still recommends that a clean air heat source be chosen.
Minimise the risk of causing smoke nuisance to your neighbours by following the good practice measures in our guide: Good Wood practice guide for wood burners (pdf, 210 KB)
Tasman District Council has outdoor burning rules in the Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP) to manage discharges into the environment from outdoor burning, including minimising the adverse effects of smoke, smell and particulates.
For safety reasons, Nelson Tasman Fire and Emergency New Zealand may also require you to obtain a fire permit for outdoor burning anywhere within the district.
The TRMP identifies Fire Ban Areas and Fire Sensitive Areas in our district. Check the TRMP planning maps to find out whether or not you are in a one of these areas.
You can light the following outdoor fires in a Fire Ban Area:
All other outdoor burning in the Fire Ban Areas is generally prohibited all year around including the use of drum incinerators and the burning of vegetation including garden waste. However, between October to April (inclusive), in some circumstances you can burn vegetation on large properties (over 5000m2) subject to a resource consent.
You can burn outdoors in other areas of the district as long as you comply with the rules in the TRMP and use good burning practices as outlined below. Even where outdoor burning is permitted, you must not cause odour, smoke or ash deposits that are offensive or objectionable over your property boundary.
Where burning can be done, it must be carried out following good practice. Smoke from outdoor fires can cause significant adverse health, nuisance and amenity effects on neighbours and in the local area.
Every effort must be made to minimise smoke from outdoor fires. The main air quality issue in our district is winter time smog due to wood burning. Outdoor fires associated with the burning of garden waste and horticultural practices contribute to this air pollution, along with wood burners used for home heating. The calm, clear and cold autumn and winter days don’t allow smoke to rise and disperse and instead, the smoke sits low to the ground. Extra care must be taken at these times.
If you intend to light a fire outdoors anywhere in the Tasman District you must comply with the following criteria:
If a fire is considered to be excessively smokey, the Council's compliance staff may issue an abatement notice with instructions on what action must be taken or issue infringement notices and fines.
Fire restrictions are initiated by Fire and Emergency New Zealand for public safety reasons, and may be in force at any time of the year in the Tasman district. You may be required to obtain a fire permit from Fire and Emergency New Zealand before lighting fires in the open air. This is in addition to any resource consent or permitted activity conditions under the Tasman Resource Management Plan.
To check the current fire season and apply for a permit (if necessary), go to www.checkitsalright.nz
See also: Fire and Emergency New Zealand
Vegetation and garden waste can be taken to your local greenwaste transfer station, or stock piled to dry and burn outside of the restricted periods (where this is allowed). Recycling or your local transfer station is the best way to dispose of other waste materials.
Farm plastics, including agrichemical containers and silage wrap must not be burnt. Recycling programmes operated by AgRecovery (for agrichemical containers) and Plasback (balewrap and silage sheeting) offer alternatives to burying or burning this type of plastic.
All industrial and trade premises discharges to air that may have a more than minor effect upon the environment are required to have a resource consent to conditionally authorise the activity.
A small number of industrial and trade activities discharge contaminants into the air under the permitted activity rules, which means that they are allowed to create steam, smoke, or odour subject to meeting certain criteria. The Tasman Resource Management Plan (TRMP) Chapter 36.3 provides information on discharges allowed under the permitted activity rules.
The industrial or trade activities that require consent includes:
Once a resource consent is obtained and granted, managing your resource consent effectively is very important.
Compliance Officers carry out physical inspections to monitor resource consents and most air discharges are required to provide periodic reports which ascertain the level of contaminants in the smoke or steam which is emitted through processes on site.
If the effect of smoke or odour from your proposed activity may cause adverse effects which are likely to be more than minor, you may require resource consent to ensure that effects upon the environment are controlled.
Activities such as those in the following list sometimes cause effects which could be reduced, or using alternative methods:
If the activity you propose may cause offence or annoyance to people around or adjacent to your site, or to people driving or walking past, it's best to check with Tasman District Council before you carry out the activity so that we can advise whether alternatives can be used.
It would also be advisable to inform your neighbours and other people who might be affected by your activity.