For information on installing a wood or pellet burning fire, please see our page on Wood Burners.
Burning household rubbish or green waste is banned on sections less than 5,000m² in urban areas serviced by weekly rubbish collections.
Outdoor fires are still permitted for cooking or heating, such as barbecues, hangi or braziers. Beach bonfires are not allowed.
Any burning on sections over 5,000m² in urban areas must not harm the environment or create a nuisance to neighbours.
While in alert level 4 we do not recommend lighting any outdoor fires, this will ensure that the fire service remains available for emergencies.
Depending on the season, fire restrictions may be in place. If you want to light a fire you may need a permit. Check the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website before lighting a fire. Lighting a fire during a restricted or prohibited fire season without a permit is an offence and can result in a fine.
Fires on public land, e.g. beaches and reserves, are banned.
What to do when lighting a fire
- Keep the fire small, feed it from another pile if need be.
- Make sure a hose, connected to a pressurised water supply, or a knapsack sprayer is available immediately next to the fire.
- The fire must be supervised at all times. If Fire and Emergency New Zealand attend the fire and it is unsupervised they will extinguish the fire.
- Light the fire early in the morning and extinguish the fire by nightfall.
- Consult with your neighbour before lighting a fire because resulting smoke may aggravate medical conditions and/or annoy your neighbour.
- Make sure the fire does not cause a nuisance to nearby residents or property from smoke, odour, ash or toxic fumes. Causing a nuisance to neighbours is an offence under Council bylaws.
- Check the wind direction and strength before lighting a fire. If weather conditions change and the fire becomes a nuisance to neighbours, it must be extinguished.
- Keep grass surrounding the fire area mown or grazed, and take precautions to avoid the fire spreading to other vegetation.
- Burn small amounts - large objects will block the air flow into incinerators. Keep the volume of material down to less than one 1m³.
- Dry any materials before burning.
- Keep fires at least 50m from a road or 100m from a highway or neighbouring house.
- Tyres or used oil cannot be burned in the open.
What should I do if my neighbour’s fire is causing a nuisance?
If you have safety concerns call Fire and Emergency New Zealand on 111.
Talk to your neighbour and ask them to put out the fire out until conditions are more suitable. If this does not work or you have concerns about a fire that are smoke related please phone us on 06-759 6060.