A woodburner fireplace

There are national regulations for installing wood burners.

A building consent is required before any fireplace is installed.

If you're planning to install a wood burner, or want to move an existing wood burner within the same house, check that the model is on the government's list of approved 'clean air' burners. Visit the NZ Homeheat website

To install a new woodburner

If the wood burner is listed as approved on the Homeheat website, then you can complete an application to install it.

Fill in the Solid Fuel Heater application form. See building forms

You need to attach the following to your application form:

A copy of plans showing:

  • Complete floor plan of house showing room layouts.
  • Location of appliance in room and location of smoke alarms.
  • Installation details and specifications, this should include any relevant clearances, hearth and flue details.

A copy of the manufacturer’s installation instructions and specifications specific to model being installed.

Also any of the following where applicable:

  • Details for compliance of exemption for Ministry for the Environment (MFE) emission.
  • Second-hand fire certificate from craftsman plumber.
  • Wet-back details.

Solid fuel heaters in a commercial premise may require a fire design report.

The fee is paid at the time the consent is submitted, see our consent fees.

Note : An inbuilt wood burner will require 2 inspections, one prior to the fire being installed and one after installation.

A secondhand wood burner can only be installed if it meets the standards or if the property is 2 hectares or more.

Check the Homeheat website to see if it is on the approved appliance list.

You will need to get an approved installer to certify the secondhand wood burner and give you a Certificate of Safety.   Then you can submit your application to install a solid fuel heater.

If you purchase a house and realise the wood burner does not have a consent, it's unlikely that a retrospective consent can be issued.

Definition of a wood burner

A wood burner (required to meet Ministry for the Environment emission standards) is defined as a "domestic heating appliance that burns wood".

The following are excluded, but still require a permit:

  • A multi-fuel burner - a coal burning heater, a pellet heater or a stove that is designed and used for cooking and heated by burning wood. You still require a building consent to install these appliances.
  • A fire in the open air.