12 Jun 2012

Christchurch woodburner rules to stay

9:21 pm on 12 June 2012

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says he has no intention of forcing the Canterbury regional council to allow woodburners to be returned to earthquake-damaged homes in Christchurch.

Residents who had the fireplaces before the earthquakes are being told by the council that they will not be permitted to put them back into their homes once they are rebuilt.

The council says it is sticking with its rule of not allowing woodburners in new homes because of high levels of air pollution in the Christchurch and it cannot make an exception for post-quake homes.

Its commissioner for air, David Bedford, says allowing woodburners would undo the good work to reduce pollution in the city over the past 10 years.

The council says it is willing to make an exception for low emission burners, but the change will not be introduced before the end of this winter.

Mr Brownlee says there is nothing he can do to fast-track that process.