Councils lose control over backyard fires
A Pirongia reader complained to Waipa¯ Council about a backyard fire he believed was causing a nuisance, but then contacted us to say the nuisance had not stopped and what could be done.
Council Environmental Services team leader Karl Tutty advises since the formation of Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ), which replaced the NZ Fire Service and Rural Fire Authority, councils have no powers to prevent people from having fires.
The control of fires themselves now rest with FENZ.
Council can only take action where a fire breaches the Health Act 1956 or District Plan by creating conditions that are could affect people’s health.
They advise they have responded to the Pirongia complaints and issued a written warning regarding smoke nuisance.
The public is advised to call 111 if a fire is endangering life or property.
■ Check local fire-related restrictions at checkitsalright.nz