Warn­ing as spring burn­ing sea­son looms


North­landers are be­ing asked to be cour­te­ous and fol­low the rules if they start think­ing about burn­ing un­wanted vege­ta­tion and other waste ma­te­rial over spring.

North­land Re­gional Coun­cil chair­man Bill Shep­herd says his­tor­i­cally, the coun­cil has pre­ferred to ed­u­cate in most cases, rather than take en­force­ment ac­tion, but its ap­proach had tough­ened in re­cent years as back­yard burn­ing con­tin­ued to gen­er­ate large num­bers of com­plaints.

He says roughly a quar­ter of all calls to the NRC’s 24/7 en­vi­ron­men­tal hot­line in­volve com­plaints about burn­ing and/or as­so­ci­ated smoke nui­sance.

‘‘Open burn­ing at in­dus­trial or trade premises is not per­mit­ted un­der our Re­gional Air Qual­ity Plan and busi­nesses breach­ing this rule now typ­i­cally re­ceive a $1000 in­stant fine rather than the warn­ing they may have got pre­vi­ously.’’

In gen­eral the re­gional coun­cil is keen to en­cour­age al­ter­na­tives to back­yard burn­ing wher­ever pos­si­ble.

In­for­ma­tion on burn­ing rules is avail­able from the coun­cil’s web­site: www.nrc.govt.nz/back­yard­burn­ing or phone 0800 504 639 to re­port nui­sance or other burn­ing.

The re­gional coun­cil is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to fol­low the ap­pro­pri­ate burn­ing rules.

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