10 Feb 2011

Otago council sticks by 2012 deadline for fire ban

9:34 am on 10 February 2011

Otago Regional Council says it will not change its decision to ban open fires and inefficient woodburners by the end of next year.

Environment Minister Nick Smith has extended the time frame for councils to meet stricter air quality standards from 2013 to 2016.

Local Government New Zealand has welcomed the move.

However the Otago council says parts of the region have the worst air pollution in New Zealand and the issue needs urgent action.

Resource planning director Fraser McRae says the council locked the original 2013 deadline into its air quality plan.

He says making alterations would require going through a resource consent process, which could cost $100,000.