The Press

Labour to can logburner ban

- DAISY HUDSON

A controvers­ial rule banning the use of woodburner­s 15 years or older would be scrapped under a Labour government, with the party saying no-one should have to live in a cold home.

However, government interventi­on in a regional council plan has been questioned by Environmen­t Canterbury’s (ECan) South Canterbury councillor.

Timaru residents have until October 31 to apply for building consent for a new burner if their fireplaces are past the age limit, a condition that has sparked the formation of a committee to push ECan to relax its air-quality rules.

The Labour Party has now waded into the debate, promising nobody would be prohibited from using an ‘‘efficient’’ log burner regardless of its age.

Rangitata candidate Jo Luxton said ECan had ‘‘refused to entertain the idea’’ of allowing older woodburner­s to be refurbishe­d.

‘‘It would be unthinkabl­e to have vulnerable people, particular­ly the elderly and families with small children, living in cold houses during winter simply because common sense amendments could not be made.

‘‘New log burners are not cheap and we should never forget that the most important people in this situation are the ordinary ratepayers who rely on their local bodies to look after their interests. They should not be too frightened to keep warm.’’

Luxton said the changes to refurbish older log burners to meet air standards ‘‘were a relatively simple engineerin­g job’’.

‘‘If the air plan requires all log burners regardless of age to meet emission standards, the 15 year blanket ban seems a little pointless.’’

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