Improving our air quality is vital to creating a healthier, happier region to live in. We developed the Canterbury Air Regional Plan with your valuable input. The plan sets out how we are going to manage air pollution from home heating, industry and other sources like outdoor burning, dust and odour. It will help us meet national air quality standards(external link).

What are the air plan measures?

These measures recognise that we are all in this together. That homeowners, industry, large businesses and landowners all have a role to play to improve our air quality. You can view submissions on the draft air plan. The rules in our air plan had effect from 28 February 2015, when it was publicly notified. 

How it affects home heating

Thorough testing has indicated that smoke from home heating using wood and coal causes the majority of our region's winter air pollution. People want to keep warm and be able to keep burning fuel, so we encourage the use of low and ultra-low emission burners, fuel from a recommended Good Wood merchant(external link) and smoke-free burning techniques(external link).

Air plan measures

  • Allow ultra-low emission burners to be installed in all homes, including new homes.
  • Encourage people to operate their burners so they produce little or no visible smoke.
  • Encourage people to upgrade to low-emission burners in areas where these burners are allowed.
  • Encourage people to change to non-emitting heating, such as a heat pumps.

Industry has a part to play

A small proportion of our region’s overall PM10 emissions are from industry and other large-scale operations such as hospitals, schools and sporting venues. Washdyke, an industrial area near Timaru, is the exception; most of its PM10 comes from commercial and industrial activity. Emissions from large-scale operations are managed with resource consents.

Air plan measures

  • Continue to require a resource consent for the discharge of all pollutants, including PM10 and other contaminants.

Outdoor burning

Large-scale outdoor burning in rural areas can be a concern to those living nearby and is often the subject of complaints. Outdoor burning of household or garden waste in urban areas can also be a nuisance to neighbours. Which is why we have put the following measures in place.

Air plan measures

  • In rural areas, require land managers/farmers to comply with region-wide industry guidelines and gain consent for large-scale burning and stubble burning.
  • On properties larger than 2ha, allow burning of organic matter, such as garden waste and untreated timber. If within a Clean Air Zone, this is allowed outside of the winter months.
  • Green waste or any other waste should not be burned on properties less than 2ha.
  • Allow outdoor cooking everywhere, including pizza ovens.
  • In a Clean Air Zone, allow burning at community cultural events, outside of winter months.

Then there's dust

Dust can create a real nuisance for people who live and work around the source. Places such as building, demolition and clean-fill sites, subdivisions under development, vehicles driving on unsealed surfaces, land cultivation, ports and quarries.

Air plan measures

  • Require a dust management plan or consent depending on the scale of dust-generating activity.
  • Continue to monitor and require operators who discharge dust to implement good dust management practices or gain consent depending on the scale of dust-generating activity.

Dust monitoring in northwest Christchurch

We often respond to reports of offensive or nuisance dust from community members who live and work around dust sources in northwest Christchurch. View our latest monitoring information including the number of reports we’ve received and proactive site visits in these areas.

What's that smell?

Our air can carry all manner of unpleasant smells. Certain odours can create a real nuisance for those who live and work around the source. It is often difficult to pinpoint where an odour comes from and who it affects.

Determining when a smell is offensive and objectionable so it can be proved in court is also difficult. The best way to manage odour problems is to make sure smelly activities do not take place near residential areas and vice versa.

Air plan measures

  • Require an odour management plan for odour-generating activities or consent depending on the scale of discharge into the air.

Compost-type odour monitoring

We regularly respond to reports from the community of compost-type smells in the Bromley area. View our latest monitoring information including the number of reports we’ve received and any actions taken.