Open fires, older woodburners allowed

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 17:12 15/06/2012
woodburner
BLAZING HEAT: It has been a struggle for many in quake-damaged homes to keep warm. Snow-related power cuts have added to the misery.

Relevant offers

Christchurch Earthquake 2011

EQC accused of 'unacceptable bullying' Bridge repairs delay power line removal Lawyer: Insurers trying to weasel out Foundation damage 'not quake' owners told Landlord 'vilified' over false quake claims Owner disputes quality of repairs Grenade shell found in red-zone property CTV engineer fails to stop release of disciplinary findings Cera set to hand over safety reins TV series shows Christchurch as it is

Cantabrians should use ''whatever means they have available'' to keep warm this winter, Environment Canterbury (ECan) says.

In a letter to be published in The Press tomorrow,  ECan air commissioner David Bedford said the needs of Canterbury residents this winter would take priority over air rules.

''People are not being prohibited from keeping warm this winter ... Instead, Environment Canterbury is encouraging people who have been significantly affected by the earthquake and who are waiting for their home to be rebuilt or repaired to use whatever means they have available to them to keep warm,'' he said.

That meant quake-affected residents could use an open fire or an older woodburner, which was normally not allowed under ECan air-quality rules, as long as it was safe to do so, Bedford told The Press today.

''We're not going to go knocking on doors to see if people are doing it.'' he said.

''What we've told our monitoring and compliance people is to take a pretty light-handed approach and take into account people's circumstances.''

He said ECan expected people would be living in damaged homes for ''quite some time''.

''We'll take this sort of approach for as long as there are people out there who are waiting.''

Relaxation of the rules could have ''a detrimental effect'' on Christchurch's air quality, Bedford said.

In 2010, before the region's quakes, Christchurch had 16 days of high air pollution, while last year 34 days of high air pollution were recorded.

However, about 12 of those were caused by liquefaction dust and grit on roads.

Christchurch had already experienced nine days of high pollution so far this year.

Bedford said that despite the exemption for people in damaged homes, those in undamaged homes were not allowed to use non-complying burners.

''Hopefully we won't get people taking advantage of that.''

ECan had not changed its stance and logburners would not be allowed in new homes, he said.

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the Canterbury Provincial Council buildings be restored?

Yes, they are NZ's best example of high Victorian gothic revival architecture.

Only if the cost can be brought down.

No, $70 million could be used for more important things.

Vote Result

Related story: Provincial chambers repair bill $70m

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content