Risk to vulnerable focus of fire law
What is the best way to help vulnerable Aucklanders heat their homes when a contentious fireplace ban comes into play?
This will be the focus of talks between city leaders and the Government.
The Air Quality Bylaw could affect more than 70,000 Auckland homes as pre-2005 fireplaces will not be allowed to operate.
The city’s new antipollution bylaw was pushed back until February 2015 by Auckland week.
There was no guarantee from the Government on funding for the vulnerable, a council spokeswoman says.
It is hoped the talks will see heating options put on the table, as well as how Auckland can best meet its legal requirements on national air quality.
‘‘We cannot comment further at this stage until these meetings have taken place.’’
The Government has pro-
last vided insulation and other assistance around New Zealand, she says.
Reports of a $20,000 council fine for anyone who breaks the bylaw are incorrect.
‘‘Auckland Council has no intention of fining anyone $20,000 – we will educate and advise people on heating alternatives,’’ she says.
Any fine would be imposed by the courts, she says.
Instead, those who use old fireplaces after October 2018 would be told to permanently block or remove them.
Residents were going to have a say on the bylaw by public submission later this year, followed by hearings in February.
Air pollution and declining health are driving the fireplace ban, which was to be in effect from May next year.
The use of coal in indoor fires would also be banned from May 2015. Auckland has about 58,000 pre-2005 woodburners.