You need a building consent to install, move or replace a solid fuel heater, wood burner or freestanding or inbuilt fireplace.
You can apply for a building consent through our online system.
Apply for a building consent
Whether you are installing a SFH as part of a new dwelling, alteration or renovation, you will need to supply us with:
- floor plans showing position of SFH and alarm locations
- the roof type
- details of the chimney flashings in accordance with E2
- details of flue clearances where it penetrates floors and roofs
- details of seismic restraint
- the model of fire being installed needs to be included in the description of the work
- If you are applying for a building consent to install a pre-owned fire, it must be accompanied by a report from a member of the Home Heating Association stating that it is suitable to install and meets the emissions regulations.
- declare whether the SFH is new or second-hand
The technical documents, specification and installation instructions need to be supplied for the chimney and fireplace. Usually the chimney needs separate documents, even if it is partially shown in the fireplace documents.
You may also need to install extra smoke alarms.
Solid fuel heaters (freestanding or inbuilt) can create a fire hazard if incorrectly installed. Many insurance companies will not pay out after a fire if the heater was incorrectly installed, or put in place without a building consent.
Only approved wood burners are allowed to be installed under regulations which came into effect on 1 Sept 2005 for residential properties. A list of compliant woodburners is available on the Ministry for the Environment website.
Ministry for the Environment - authorised wood burners
The Home Heating Association has compiled a list of approved installers. You are not required to use a registered installer, but it is recommended.
All solid fuel heaters installations are inspected by us. Different makes and models have different specifications and a copy of the building consent documentation including specifications must be available during the inspection.
- Freestanding heaters should be installed before inspection but leave the ceiling plate loose so ceiling clearances can be checked. They require one inspection.
- Inbuilt heaters shouldn’t be installed before an inspection so that the condition of the existing fireplace and chimney can be checked before installation. These heaters require two inspections.
Outdoor fireplaces, BBQs and pizza ovens
Building consent is not required for most outdoor fires, barbecues or pizza ovens.
However, all such installations are required to comply with Tauranga City Plan setback rules (14B.3.4) (353kb pdf). This means that they must be at least 3m from any street boundary and 1.5m from any side or rear boundary.
Careful consideration should be given to safety and the possible effects of smoke when choosing the location of any fireplace or cooking facility.
Complaints about smoke nuisance should be directed to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s Pollution Hotline on 0800 884 883.
Fees and charges
Last Reviewed: 15/02/2019