Rationale

This is an annotated list of our demands in our manifesto, explaining why these proposed laws, by-laws and/or rules are a good idea.

For the sake of this manifesto a woodburner is defined as any open fireplace, pot belly stove, wood heater or wood burner including any so-called “clean” wood burners.

  • An immediate and complete ban on the KCDC approval of the installation of any wood burner into new or existing dwellings within the Council boundaries.
    This is obviously because you wouldn’t want to waste your money putting one in when you won’t soon be able to use it. Woodsmoke is also a problem. Presently there is too much woodsmoke, so therefore there are already too many on the Coast, so why make the problem worse, before we make things better.
  • An immediate and complete ban on any outside burning off of rubbish or timber within the Kapiti Council borders. This includes farms, market gardens, businesses and residences.
    One of our members, who was an environmental refugee from Raumati South’s appalling winter smoke problems moved to Te Horo and is really annoyed that willy-nilly burning off by his near and not so near neighbours makes it impossible to work outside at some time each weekend. The Greater Wellington Regional Council says you may not burn if it causes nuisance. It does cause nuisance, but nothing ever gets done by the GWRC to prevent the nuisance. There is no need with any farming practice in New Zealand to burn off rubbish. There are perfectly good and inexpensive transfer stations and tips in Otaihanga and Otaki. Use them or mulch your green waste.
  • An immediate and complete ban on the use of any external pizza ovens, chimineas or barbeques that have wood or coal as a fuel source.
    In San Francisco they banned domestic wood heaters, and then there was a craze for Mexican style chimineas and pizza ovens. The immediate gains in improved quality were soon lost due to this unnecessary craze. Some irresponsible ‘lifestyle’ TV programmes have been promoting their use. Use a gas cooker instead. And they’re trying to sell them here too.
  • An immediate and complete ban on domestic fish or meat smokers.
    Imagine trying to open your window on a nice day and the neighbours got one down by their back fence just near your open window.
  • An immediate and complete ban on any burning off on the beach.
    Bonfires are completely unnecessary, and usually involved with drunken antics. Imagine your house on the beach overlooks that and you want to sit out and watch the sunset, but you’re copping the smoke. Also they leave an unsightly mess. I know the girl guides like having a bonfire. The go camping have a bonfire meme is an old one. Real trampers and campers don’t leave a trace and don’t make fires unless it is an emergency. We suggest the girl guides all sit around a Trangia alcohol stove. Of course that’s a joke, but if you want to teach them outdoor skills teach them valid environmentally sound ones.
  • An immediate and complete ban on burning off of forestry waste.
    There is a ready market for woodchips and mulch in Kapiti. Burning off forestry waste is completely unneccessary. Plant the new trees amongst the waste and let it all rot.
  • An immediate and complete ban on the sale of kindling and firewood within the Kapiti Council boundaries.
    We haven’t called for an immediate ban on all woodburners (but we’d agree to it), but all the real problem areas would have an immediate ban. See elsewhere here. The ones that don’t tend to be a nuisance are the far flung rural ones, and they make their own firewood with their own resources. This ban would make it less likely that the new prohibition rules would get broken and it will get the district ready for a full ban.
  • The establishment of a 24 hour/7 day telephone hotline to deal with smoke complaints.
    If illegal burning  is happening, or there is legal burning, and it is causing a nuisance then the complaints from the public are legitimate complaints. No one complains unless it is a problem. We have the right to complain. Deaf ears shouldn’t be at the other end of the line.
  • The establishment of a 24 hour/7 day website to deal with smoke complaints.
    A complaints mechanism for the shy and tech-savvy.
  • All smoke complaints to be dealt with within 24 hours. Any repeated breaking of the no burning rules can be dealt with by large fines and by court ordered removal of the offending woodburner.
    All complaints are legitimate, and should be treated as such. Immediate responses should be done when at all practicable. First offence should be a warning or a small fine. Second offence shows recalcitrance and should be dealt with large fines and court ordered removal of the offending woodburner.
  • An immediate and complete ban on any domestic woodburner in any designated zone, where a designated zone is:
    The idea is to phase in a ban on most forms of burning over a small number of years, but some of Kapiti suffers from pollution more than others and as such some areas shouldn’t have a phased in period.

    1. a prescribed area of Raumati Beach and Raumati South within 200 metres of a dune.
      Raumati has the worst air pollution in all Kapiti. Worse than Paekakariki or Otaki even. Inversion layers happen on still nights (no there isn’t enough wind for there not to be still nights).  The number of woodburners make the air acrid and foul. Pollution levels go sky high. Just about all of Raumati South will be affected by this ban.
    2. any prescribed area where 75% of the houses are less than 5 years old.
      Newer districts such as around Mazengarb Road, and the Kotuku Lakes in Paraparumu, and around Weggery Drive in Waikanae Beach are newer areas and most houses don’t have wood burners, but there is always one or two who spoil it for everybody. Spoil it no more.
    3. an area where a demonstrable 10% portion of the residents or more want a ban.
      All other areas should be asked. It isn’t 50% because the nature of smoke is that if annoys people. People should have the right not to be annoyed. If less than 10% want a ban, but there are still complaints abut particular addresses then that gets dealt with below.
  • Any area falling outside of the proscribed areas above where there is a gas supply on the street by the spring of 2010.
    This allows one winter for people who have the option of gas to make the switch away from polluting woodburners to clean gas or clean heatpumps. The gas network is quite extensive.
  • Any area falling outside of the proscribed areas above where there isn’t a gas supply on the street, and within 150 metres of another house, by the Spring of 2011.
    This includes rural properties. They have two winters to make the switch from polluting woodburners to clean bottled gas or clean heatpumps. 150 metres may be enough to make the smoke disperse before it annoys or endangers neighbours.
  • Any area falling outside of the proscribed areas above if any nearby resident complains about the emissions.
    Complaints from neighbours aren’t made unless there is a problem. Complaints should be taken seriously and problem fires should be subject to immediate bans. All it should take is one non-spurious complaint.
  • All of Kapiti by the Spring of 2012, with the exception of crematoria and hospital wastes,
    and with the exception of hangi fires within Marae boundaries, as long as it doesn’t cause nuisance to surrounding residences,
    and with the exception of smokers for the production of small goods and other smoked foodstuffs and pizza ovens, as long as they don’t cause nuisance to surrounding residences.
    There are legitimate reasons to burn things, both industrially and culturally. They should still be subject to emission controls and if pollution is a nuisance then they should be regulated or shutdown. There is no legitimate reason to burn rubbish or to burn wood or coal as a source of domestic heat, when better, cleaner more appropriate technologies exist.
  • All new subdivisions with block sizes under 1 hectare must include pipes for the provision of natural gas.
    Gas is a beautiful, clean way to heat your home. All new subdivisions should have a gas supply to give the owners choice about gas or heat-pump.

Responses

  1. […] New Zealand: Clean Air Society of the Kapiti Coast […]

  2. I am having huge problems with a neighbour who is repeated burning wood off the beach and now treated timber from a building site. The smoke gets into my home an is causing me stress and breathing problems. The council don’t want to know and put me on to the Greater Wellington Council who say it is not their problem. Does anyone here no who I can talk to so these people who won’t listen to me, can stop polluting my airspace.


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