Outdoor permanent fireplaces and ovens must always be located at least 1 metre away from any combustible objects such as trees, shrubs, buildings or wood storage piles, and users should always follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions.
Please note: The below exemption comes into force from 31 August 2020. You will still need a building consent if your project starts before this date.
Outdoor permanent fireplaces and ovens must always be located at least 1 metre away from any combustible objects such as trees, shrubs, buildings or wood storage piles. Users should always follow the manufacturer's safety precautions. This exemption only applies to those fireplaces or ovens with a cooking or fire surface of no more than 1 square metres.
Outdoor fireplaces or ovens should be installed by a competent person in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and AS/NZS2918 (for solid fuel appliances). Gas burning outdoor fireplaces or ovens must be installed by an authorised Gasfitter.
Freestanding fireplaces or ovens must be anchored and restrained as outlined in supplier/manufacturer instructions.
Even though an outdoor fireplace or oven can be constructed 1 metre from a boundary, a fire permit may require it to be 3 metres away in order to be lit.
Check with Fire and Emergency New Zealand and your local council regarding any local outdoor fire regulations, standards or permits before installing or using any permanent outdoor fireplace or oven. There may be additional rules associated with 'smoke nuisance' to surrounding properties areas. For example, you must not light your fire within 3 metres of a building, hedge or anything else that could catch fire according to the requirements of Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
What is exempt
A homeowner wishes to construct a free-standing and permanent pizza oven in the back yard with the minimum 1 metre distance from the street fence. The maximum cooking surface is less than 1 square metres, the top of the flue is 2.4 metres above the ground level and the oven is to be secured to the base in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
What needs consent
- Constructing a fire place attached to the existing dwelling or a shed.
- A restaurant owner wants to build a freestanding fire place in the outdoor area of their restaurant. The surface fire area of the fire place is 2.25 square metres. A building consent is required for this building work as the fire surface exceeds 1 square metres.
- A dwelling owner wants to build a fire place under an existing roofed sunshelter. The existing free-standing sun-shelter was built on the land and is enclosed by the roof and walls on two sides. A building consent is required for this building work because the fire place is located in a roofed space.
What the law says
28A. Permanent outdoor fireplaces and ovens
1. Building work in connection with a permanent outdoor fireplace or oven that—
(a). is on the ground; and
(b). is not covered by a roof or wall; and
(c). has an overall height of no more than 2.5 metres, and a cooking surface of no more than 1 square metre; and
(d). is at least 1 metre from any legal boundary or building; and
(e). disposes of smoke in a way that does not create a nuisance to people or a hazard to any property.