Heating Appliances

Building Overview

Don't get left out in the cold

Environment Canterbury have certain rules surrounding solid fuel heaters in the Timaru District – find out what this means for you.

If you live in the Timaru Air Zone

If you have an older style burner that is older than 15 years and if you want to continue to burn wood, you are required to have it replaced with an Ultra Low emitting appliance. Since 31 October 2017, you can only replace your older existing style heater with an Ultra Low appliance (Timaru Clean Air Zone).

The use of open fires is now not permitted in the Timaru Air Zone.

If you live in the Geraldine Air Zone

If you have an older style woodburner (15 years or older) you can continue to use this until 1 January 2020 or until the property is sold (whichever comes first). They can be replaced with a Low or an Ultra Low emitting appliance (remember Low emitting appliances have a 15 year life).

The use of open fires is not permitted in the Geraldine Air Zone.

If you have any questions relating to these rules, you should visit the ECAN website. ECAN have also published a list of ECAN approved appliances.

Building Consents for Heating Appliances

If you are proposing to install any kind of solid or liquid fuel heating appliance, e.g. woodburner, multi-fuel burner, diesel burner or cooker using wood as a fuel, you will need to apply for a building consent and have this approved before you install your new appliance.

Note: Refer to Fees and Charges for the cost of this consent.

To apply for your Building Consent, you will submit your application via the Simpli portal You are required to submit a complete application form and provide all relevant information that will demonstrate how the installation will comply with the building code. This shall include the following:

  • Full Installation details from the manufacturer of both the appliance and flue system (these may be from separate companies). These installation instructions must be the latest version from their respective manufacturer.
  • A floor plan of the house with at least dimensions of the room in which the appliance is to be installed. Included on the floor plan must show the woodburner location, distances and positions of any adjacent windows and doors to the woodburner, location of smoke alarms within the house and the location of the roof ridgeline.
  • If the installation is in an Alcove or existing open fire space, please provide details of how the proposed appliance complies with distances to combustible materials within that space.
  • Details or written confirmation that flue heights, clearances and distances demonstrates compliance with AS/NZS 2918:2018 fig 4.8.
  • Details of the proposed Flue flashing system. Please ensure the proposed flashing type is new (not 2nd hand) and will be compatible and comply with the specific roofing type.
  • Free hand drawings and details will not be accepted (must be ruled lines as a minimum).
  • Proof of ownership is required to show you own the property. This could be a copy of your record of title or a copy of the rates account (no older than three months).

Other important notes

Please ensure that all plans and details provided within your application are clear and legible.

When a hot water booster or wetback is being installed, a tempering valve (anti scalding device) must be fitted in the supply from the cylinder to the sanitary fixes. This requirement does not apply if an existing hot water booster or wetback is being replaced. The installation of a water booster or wetback must be completed by a craftsman plumber.

Once the consent is granted and issued, an inspection (or 2 inspections if an inbuilt) of the heating appliance must be completed and approved by council before the code compliance certificate (CCC) can be used.

Please Note: All installations of inbuilt wood burners require 2 inspections (minimum). This will be identified within the consent documentation, so please ensure you take the time to familiarise yourself with the approved consent documentation before you start the work.

An application for Code Compliance Certificate must be made to Council as soon as the installation has been completed. This application can be completed and submitted via the Simpli portal

You do not need a building consent for installation of a gas or electric heater or heat pump.

Guidance Notes

  • Flue Height: The minimum flue heights specified in AS/NZS 2918:2018 (Solid Fuel/Liquid Fuel Heaters) or the manufacturer's installation instruction may be insufficient if combustion problems and smoke or odour nuisance are to be avoided. Consideration should be given to extend the flue height above those required by the manufacturer or AS/NZS 2918:2018.
  • Following the inspection you will receive a Code Compliance Certificate provided that the building work has been correctly completed.
  • The cost of one inspection is covered by the Building Consent fee for which you pay at the time of applying for the Building Consent. Additional fees are payable if more than one inspection is necessary.


Environment Canterbury is the approving authority for the emission standards for the solid fuel/liquid fuel heaters. You should visit the ECAN website if you have any other questions relating to these rules, not covered within this advisory.


To arrange an inspection phone the Timaru District Council on 03 687 7200. You will be asked for the following information:

  • Building consent number
  • Address of the property
  • Type of inspection
  • Your name
  • Your contact phone number and email address
  • Will you be on site?
  • Will there be any dogs on site (please be aware  our officer may ask for your dog to be restrained during the inspection)