Wood Burners (Fireplaces)

Fireplaces are one of the oldest ways of heating homes, but there are significant safety issues associated with their installation, so regulations exist to minimise potential risk to your family.

Installing a fireplace

You must get a building consent before installing any fireplace. This helps to ensure the fireplace meets all safety standards.

If you are planning to install a new residential solid fuel fire, you need to use a Solid Fuel Heater Building Consent application form.

The application requires the following documentation:

  • A full plan of the house showing the location of the burner, sleeping areas, smoke alarms and any sleepout on the property.
  • A copy of the manufacturer’s specifications and installation instructions for the fire and flue is also required (second hand fires or flues are NOT permitted).
  • Details of proposed flashing of flues (including any alternative solution).
  • If the application includes a wet-back, a plumbing specification and schematic for the hot water cylinder, wet-back and tempering valve is required. Note: all plumbing work must be completed by a Registered Plumber.
  • Approved smoke detectors with hush buttons must be installed in or within 3 metres of each sleeping space and in the escape routes on all levels within the household unit.

Ensure that you apply for a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) once the installation is complete.

What will the building consent cost?

Solid Fuel Heater applications have a fixed fee of $300.00 which allows for one inspection during installation. If any additional inspections are required they will cost extra.

What type of solid fuel heater can I install or use?

Council can only approve building consent applications for models of solid fuel heaters that have been tested by the Ministry for the Environment.  

For a full list of tested fires, brands, models and emission rates, see the Ministry for the Environment

The heater must comply with the National Environmental Standards for air quality if it is installed on properties of less than 2ha.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (which administers air quality in Hawke’s Bay) has set limits on fireplace emissions within the areas worst affected by air pollution. These areas are called “Air Sheds” – see map below. 

Hastings Air Shed

Hastings Air Shed

Old and existing fireplaces

The Hawke's Bay Regional Council has set rules that ban certain types of non-complying fires and older fires from being used. These models will need to be replaced with a complying model or alternative heating system. Find out more by visiting their website www.hbrc.govt.nz


All solid fuel heater installations must be inspected by a Hastings District Council Building Inspector.

For insert fires (into an existing chimney including those with wetback), the officer will need to carry out the inspection during the installation of the Solid Fuel Heater in order to inspect the prepared chimney, any wetback and hot water cylinder components and the final installation position of the fire itself.

For free-standing fires (including those with wetback), the officer will need to carry out the inspection at the completion of then installation.

To book an inspection phone (06) 871 5000.

If your inspection fails, Council will need to re-inspect the installation and you will be invoiced for additional inspections.

Final step - Code of Compliance Certificate

When the inspection has passed, you must complete an Application for Code Compliance Certificate.

The Building Officer who completes your inspection will provide you with this form.

On receipt of your signed Application for Code Compliance Certificate our Business Support Team will issue your Code of Compliance Certificate (subject to any additional fees being paid).

NOTE: Do not use (light) your fire until Council’s Building Officer has passed your final inspection, and you have applied for and received your Code of Compliance Certificate.

Using your fire without a Code Compliance Certificate may invalidate an insurance claim should anything happen.