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Rotorua Air Quality

Our responsibility for air quality in Rotorua

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is responsible for managing the region's air quality. National Environmental Standards were introduced in 2004 for air quality and it is our responsibility to ensure that they are met.

These standards provide a level of protection for the health of New Zealanders and our natural environment. Forty-two areas, called airsheds, were established to have their pollution monitored. Rotorua is one these.

Rotorua's Air Quality

Rotorua has the worst winter air quality of any airshed in the North Island.

Rotorua's air quality exceeds the safe and acceptable level set by the Ministry for the Environment. We have the highest number of exceedences in the North Island.

The biggest source of Rotorua's urban air pollution (58%) is from solid-fuel burners for home heating - wood burners, multi burners and open fires.

The most vulnerable to the adverse health effects of our air pollution is the very young, the elderly and those who suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Approximately 228 tonnes of fine particulates are discharged annually into Rotorua's air. We need to reduce this by 60 tonnes to meet the safe and acceptable standards set by the Ministry for Environment.

Watch video - Rotorua Temperature Inversion Layer 

Rotorua Air Quality Monitoring

What are we doing about it?


Proposed Plan Change 13, which is the proposed new Regional Air Plan and the Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw, both include rules govering the use of solid fuel burners in Rotorua.

If your house is within the Rotorua Airshed and you have a wood burner that was installed before September 2005, then the wood burner is deemed non-compliant and you will not be able to use that wood burner after 31 January 2020.

Chip heaters, coal ranges, marshall heaters, coal burners and multi-fuel burners are also being phased out. These types of burners cannot be used after 31 December 2018.

There are also new rules regarding installing a new wood burner in the Rotorua Airshed and installing a wood burner in a property that has had it's previous burner removed at point of sale. Please click the link below for more details.


Heating Upgrade Incentives

We have two incentive schemes available to help people who currently have non-compliant home heating that needs replacing.


What can you do?


Pollution Hotline

If you are concerned about activities causing air pollution please call our Pollution Hotline on 0800 884 883.