Burners for beginners

Follow these steps to learn key information about enclosed burners, if you are affected by the Nelson Air Quality rules, and what you need to do.


Enclosed solid fuel burners cannot be installed in the Nelson Urban Area unless they are replacing an existing lawfully established solid fuel burner. If there is no existing solid fuel burner in your home you can install an ultra-low emission pellet fire, gas or diesel burner or electric heating such as a heat pump. If you live in Airshed B2 (Stoke) or Airshed C (Brook, Maitai, Wood, Atawhai) you can also install an Ultra low emission woodburner (ULEB).

Note if you are replacing an existing solid fuel burner with another solid fuel burner, you must have your building consent for the new burner lodged with Council and issued before you remove the existing burner.

Step 1: Do I have to stop using my burner?

Use of some enclosed burners has been banned. Depending on the airshed in which you live, and depending on when your burner was originally installed, you may very well be affected. Find out more by reading on.

What is an enclosed burner?

An enclosed burner is a small-scale fuel burning appliance, where combustion of solid fuel occurs within a firebox enclosed by a door, and where there is generally a controlled supply of air to the fire. It includes free-standing or in-built woodburners, pellet fires, potbelly stoves, multi-fuel burners like Junos and 'chippies', and coal ranges, but excludes any open fire.

Step 2: Locate which airshed you live in

Nelson's address list (no names or ownership information) is available so you can lookup your address and learn which airshed you live in. Once you are done, go to the next step below and determine if you are affected, and when.


  1. Click on the link below to open the PDF file in a separate window; you will not be able to modify and save any data or make any changes, only lookup.
  2. Click on the SEARCH button on the top menu.
  3. The search window opens, where you can enter a search phrase, such as your street or full street address.
  4. Once you locate your address, look to the right to learn in which Airshed the property is located.
  5. If you have multiple listings to view, repeat steps 2 - 4.

Step 3: Your airshed will tell you if you're affected

Once you've got your airshed information, read on.

I live in Either Airshed A or Airshed B1
  • Enclosed burners installed before 1996 cannot be used or replaced after 1 January 2010.
  • Enclosed burners installed between 1996 and 1999, cannot be used or replaced after 1 January 2012.
  • If your existing enclosed burner was installed between 2000 and 2003, you can now use it after 1 January 2013. For more information, please contact Environmental Programmes Adviser Richard Frizzell, phone 546 0423
I live in Airshed B2
  • Enclosed burners installed before 1991 cannot be used or replaced after 1 January 2010.
  • Enclosed burners installed between 1991 and 1995 cannot be used or replaced it after 1 January 2012.
  • If your existing enclosed burner was installed after 1995, you can carry on using it, there is no phase out date for your burner.
  • If you don’t have an existing solid fuel burner (or it has been phased out as outlined above) you can install an Ultra Low Emission Burner. 
I live in Airshed C or the Glen

There is no scheduled phase out of enclosed burners in these areas. An existing enclosed burner can only be replaced with an authorised burner from the Council list, except at The Glen where any house can have an authorised burner.  If you don’t have an existing solid fuel burner you can install an Ultra Low Emission Burner.

Step 4: Don't know when your burner was installed

Your installation records will provide an answer to this, but if you don't know, phone Council  on +64 3 546 0200 to find out.


The Council has finished it's Clean Heat Warm Home scheme so no longer provides funding to replace burners.

However, you may be eligible for the government's ENERGYWISETM funding subsidies for insulation and heating via a private provider operating in Nelson. Visit the Energywise website for details.

Optional: Nelson's Air Quality Plan

If you want more detail, feel free to read more detail about the new Air Quality Rules, see Nelson's Air Quality Plan for more information.

For more information or help

Contact the Environmental Programmes Adviser on +64 3 546 0200.