Check for catches before reaching for matches

Rubbish fires are unhelpful to emergency services during the pandemic response – but such fires are subject to restrictions and requirements in normal times as well, says the Taranaki Regional Council.

“It’s important for everyone at all times to understand and comply with measures required to protect the quality of Taranaki’s air,” says the Council’s Director-Environment Quality, Fred McLay.

The Council’s restrictions and requirements vary according to location and circumstances:

Urban areas

Backyard rubbish fires are completely banned on all properties under 5000 square metres in any suburb or township that has a regular rubbish collection.

See www.trc.govt.nz/backyard-burning/#backyard for a list and maps of urban areas where the ban applies.

Those on larger urban properties must be considerate of others and avoid adverse effects if they want to burn rubbish.

The ban does not apply to outdoor fires for cooking or heating, such as hāngī, barbecues or braziers.

Farm rubbish

Burning of farm rubbish is permitted, but only under strict conditions. If they can’t be met, you must apply for a resource consent. Conditions include restrictions on what can be burned, its source, where and when it can be burned, and management of environmental effects. For details, see www.trc.govt.nz/backyard-burning/#farm

Vegetation

If you need to burn farm vegetation, you can generally do so without resource consent, as long as smoke is minimised to avoid effects on other people, the environment, visibility, or traffic. Otherwise you may have to take action to reduce the problem or stop the burning altogether, or you may need to apply for resource consent. For more details and a link to detailed guidelines, see www.trc.govt.nz/backyard-burning/#vegetation

Industrial waste

Any burning of industrial waste, no matter where it takes place, requires a resource consent from the Taranaki Regional Council.

“All these requirements and restrictions are separate to and additional to any seasonal fire restrictions or permit requirements imposed by Fire and Emergency NZ,” says Mr McLay. To check on FENZ requirements, go to www.checkitsalright.nz(external link) or call 0800 658 628.