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Southland wood burner ban coming into effect

From tomorrow, Southland residents will no longer be able to use old wood burners in their homes.

In a bid to clean-up the region's air Southland Regional Council is banning wood burners made before 1997.

Spokesperson Gavin McCullagh said Invercargill and Gore, in particular, had issues with air quality.

The council expected that more than 2000 households would be affected by the new rule, which was part of its Regional Air Plan.

McCullagh said the ban was publicly notified in 2015 and other councils around the country had also phased out wood burners.

He said Southland Regional Council had been working to educate people about the reason for the ban, and what environmentally-friendly heating appliances they can use instead.

"Generally when we discuss what the issues are, people understand that and try to work with us," he said.

He said the council will initially be taking an "education-first" approach for anyone caught using old burners.

"One thing we don't want to do is leave anyone cold during winter so our approach has generally been to inform people of the new rules, if they weren't aware of them, and pointing them in the right direction for appropriate burners, or for support for new heating and insulation."

The Ministry for the Environment has a [www.breatheeasysouthland.co.nz list of approved burners] on their website and the Southland Regional Council has set up a website to help.

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