Woodburner changes needed, say new lobby group


Opposition to the Nelson City Council’s strict woodburner policy is organising itself ahead of the next round of consultation this week.

Vocal opponents to the bylaw have formed the Wood Burner Lobby Group ahead of a second community meeting as part of a review of the bylaw.

Among the founders are former Nelson Grey Power president Neville Male, Graeme O’Brien, Gaire Thompson, Greg West, Melissa Short, Peter Olorenshaw and Harry Pearson.

Harry says the group believes fires are a cost-effective way of heating, and if the right wood is used, has little effect on the air quality.

“We feel strongly that the council isn’t doing enough. We want people in the community to come forward, especially people who are battling the effects of cold homes.”

The rules around woodburners were part of the council’s Air Quality Plan, which aimed to do something about winter smoke in the city.

Monitoring and modelling work last winter showed that there is potential capacity for additional woodburners in central Nelson, Atawhai and Stoke.

The council is holding a second public meeting on Thursday to update the community on progress with its Air Plan Review.

This follows a meeting held in March to better understand the key issues from the community, and how these could be addressed through the review.

Along with a general update, the upcoming meeting will summarise feedback received so far, discuss the various options the review will consider and check whether any suggestions have been missed.

The aim of the review is to find a fair and reasonable solution to keeping people warm in their homes, while still meeting the National Environmental Standard for Air Quality set by the government.

The woodburner meeting will be held at the Trafalgar Pavillion from 5.30pm to 7pm this Thursday night. Everyone is welcome.