29 May 2012

Media Release: Good news for woodburners

It’s official - woodburners installed in Nelson from 2000 to 2003 do not have to be replaced under the Nelson Air Quality Plan.

Last year, Nelson City Council introduced a change to its Air Quality Plan to remove the rule requiring burners installed in 2000 or later (and which did not meet the Plan’s emissions standards) to stop being used by 1 January 2013. 

Councillor Mike Ward, Co Portfolio Holder Policy and Planning, says the rules in the Plan Change have now got to the point where they have legal effect.

“The period for appeals against the decision has closed, so the rule has force of law.

“Homeowners in Airshed A (the Hospital/Victory Valley including Toi Toi and Washington Valley) and Airshed B1 (Tahunanui, including the hills south of The Cliffs) no longer have to stop using or get rid of these burners by the end of the year.”

Council’s change to the Air Quality Plan was in response to the Government moving the target date from 2013 to 2020 for complying with the National Environmental Standard for air quality.

Mr Ward says the city is in a position where it can achieve the target without forcing out burners installed between 2000 and 2003, which are relatively modern and much cleaner burning than burners installed in previous decades.

“Nelsonians have worked very hard to improve air quality in the city, and we’ve made great progress, so it is good to be able to recognise that with a slight easing of the restrictions.

“I’m proud of the community. As someone who has run through the Victory neighbourhood for many years, the air is dramatically more breathable. They’ve made a huge difference to air quality and they will all be a lot healthier for it.”

He emphasised that the changes would only slightly slow the rate of improvement in air quality for the city, and the full achievement of health benefits. 

The only remaining fires facing compulsory phase out are ‘Jetmaster-type’ open fires, which cannot be used after 1 January 2013.