From 1 December 2008, residents outside of Whāngārei City need to ensure that any outside fires do not cause offensive smoke or odour to neighbouring residents or obscure vision along public roads.
Smoke from outdoor burning pollutes the air, causing serious health problems. Much like cigarette smoke, the smoke from burning leaves, grass, brush and tree needles can cause asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and lung cancer.
Children, the elderly and those with breathing problems are most harmed by poor air quality.
If the Regional Council confirms that smoke from outdoor fires is resulting in offensive smoke or odour, it could result in formal enforcement action.
This can range from a verbal warning or abatement notice for first time offenders, to an instant fine of up to $1000 for repeat offenders or serious offences.
As well as limiting the smoke from outdoor fires, it may also be necessary to obtain a fire permit from a Rural Fire Authority.
Contact Forest Protection Services - telephone 09 430 7707 between 9.00am and 4.00pm weekdays for more information.
If you are within one kilometre of a Department of Conservation reserve or plantation forest, you may also require a permit. Contact your local DoC office for more information.
It is also illegal to burn the following items at any time:
- Rubber tyres
- Coated metal wires
- Treated timber (using CCA)
- Plastic containers
- Hazardous substances or containers of hazardous substances
- Motor vehicle parts
Within urban Whāngārei
Residents of Whāngārei City can not burn waste within the city airshed area (see the map below) unless they hold a resource consent, or their property is larger than one hectare. However, burning for food cooking purposes using barbeques, hangi, umu and using wood-fired kilns is allowed.
For more information visit www.nrc.govt.nz/backyardburning or contact the Northland
Regional Council on 0800 002 004.
Ten alternatives to burning
- Recycle plastics, paper, glass and tins by placing them in your recycle bin for your weekly refuse collector or take to your local recycling centre.
Find out about recycling in your area
- Compost garden waste including clippings, trimmings, small branches and
Find out more about composting
- Mulch larger branches (up to 30cm in diameter) using a chipper or shredder and add to your garden as a soil conditioner.
- Use a worm farm to dispose of vegetable peelings and food scraps.
Find out more about worm farming
- Dispose of household refuse in rubbish bags as part of your weekly kerbside
- Take larger quantities of refuse to a transfer station for disposal.
Find your local transfer station
- Larger branches and logs can be cut to size and used as firewood during the winter in an internal domestic fireplace.
- Computer waste can be disposed of during e-day events.
Find out about e-Day
- Hire a mini-skip and place your waste material in the skip for removal.
- Waste that may be of use to someone else can be registered on the waste exchange website: www.nothrow.co.nz
You are welcome to contact members of the Regional Council’s Air Quality Team, toll-free, on
0800 002 004.
Find out more about waste disposal alternatives: www.nrc.govt.nz/forhomes