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Air Quality Rules Summary

Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw

Rotorua has serious air pollution problems during winter. The Rotorua Air Quality Control Bylaw will remove solid fuel burners that are not clean-air approved and help improve our air quality.

The rules may affect how you can heat your home.

The bylaw rules:

1. Restriction on Installation of Solid Fuel Burners

Since 1 December 2010 only clean-air approved wood burners and pellet fires can be installed in homes in the Rotorua airshed.


2. Solid Fuel Burner Change Required at Point of Sale

Since 1 May 2012 you have not been able to sell a property in the Rotorua airshed with solid fuel burners that are NOT clean-air approved. 



 3. Indoor Open Fires

Indoor open fires have not been able to be used since 1 May 2015

Area affected by the bylaw

Only properties in the Rotorua Urban Airshed need to comply with the bylaw. See if your property is affected on the map. 

Dispensations to the Bylaw rules

Rotorua’s air quality is improving slowly, however, if we continue at the same pace, Rotorua will not meet the National Environmental Standards for Air Quality by 2020. In the past, leniency has been applied to dispensation applications. This will no longer be the case. Dispensations will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Please access the link below for further information.

Guidelines to Dispensation Applications pdf 147KB

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Please click here for FAQs


Proposed Plan Change 13 (Air Quality) to the Regional Natural Resources Plan

Proposed Plan Change 13 (Air Quality) to the Regional Natural Resources Plan affects air rules across the region. It includes 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.


Offsetting Requirements for New Wood Burners within the Rotorua Airshed.

If a wood burner is to be installed within the Rotorua airshed that is NOT replacing an existing wood burner, there are now offsetting rules in addition to the existing building consent and emission rate requirements.