Backyard burning

There are a number of things to be aware of if you are considering these activities at home or on the farm.

Burning household rubbish

Burning household rubbish or greenwaste in your back yard is banned if you live in a Taranaki urban area on a property smaller than 5,000 square metres and serviced by weekly rubbish collections.

If your section is larger than 5,000 square metres, backyard burning is permitted, although it is still important to be considerate of others and avoid any adverse effects. 

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

Click on place name for map showing boundaries of urban areas where the backyard burning ban applies.

New Plymouth District

Urenui        Onaero Waitara       Lepperton
Inglewood Egmont Village Bell Block New Plymouth
NP East NP West          Oakura          Okato

Stratford District

Midhirst Stratford                                     

South Taranaki District

Opunake Kaponga    Manaia Ohawe Beach
Hawera Eltham Normanby Patea

The ban in these areas is in accordance with Rule 34 of the Regional Air Quality Plan for Taranaki, which became operative on 25 July 2011. 

To report any problems with backyard burning, please contact:

New Plymouth District Council     phone 759 6060

Stratford District Council                phone 765 6099

In South Taranaki District contact the Taranaki Regional Council, phone 0800 736 222

Burning farm rubbish

Generally you can burn farm rubbish without requiring resource consent as long as:

  • The rubbish is only from your own farm.
  • It does not contain treated wood or sawdust, waste oil, tyres, or chlorinated plastics. 
  • You ensure that the smoke or fumes do not cause significant environmental effects or cause nuisance outside your property boundary.

It is important to be considerate of others:

  • Allow vegetation to dry before burning.
  • Keep fires at least 50 metres from a road or 100 metres from a highway or neighbouring house.
  • Check the wind direction and strength before lighting a fire.
  • Tyres or used oil cannot be burned in the open.

If it is unlikely that you can meet these requirements, you must apply for resource consent (air discharge permit).

Burning 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.

If you cannot meet these requirements you may have to take action to reduce the problem or stop the burning altogether, or you may need to apply for resource consent.

The Air Quality Plan for Taranaki contains guidelines for burning vegetation that will help you avoid problems and meet the conditions (see Appendix 5 of the Air Quality Plan).
You may also need to consider restricted fire seasons or fire bans in place, and require a fire permit from the Department of Conservation or your district council (as the local fire authority). Contact your local district council, or Department of Conservation office.

Burning industrial waste

Any burning of industrial waste, no matter where it takes place, requires a resource consent. Please contact the Taranaki Reginal Council for more information.