OUTCOME FROM THE HBRC REGIONAL PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 19TH AUGUST
Last week, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Regional Planning Committee discussed options to address concerns around outdoor burning following increased reporting of smoke complaints in the Heretaunga Plains.
During the winter months (1 May – 31 August) and pursuant to Rules 19a and 19e of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Resource Management Plan (RRMP), the horticultural industry is permitted to burn diseased material and material left over from orchard redevelopment. This is a privilege that was hard fought for by HBFA and Horticulture NZ in 2010.
There has been active campaigning from some councillors to place a total fire ban on all properties on the Heretaunga Plans. If successful, this will require rural land-owners to find alternative disposal methods for diseased trees and/or orchard redevelopment blocks.
Five options were presented for consideration by the RPC to address outdoor burning.
Only one option allowed the burning of orchard re-development and diseased material to continue and after lengthy debate, this option was accepted. However, this will be revisited under the Regional Resource Management Plan Review scheduled to commence in 2021. The alternative options would have prohibited all outdoor burning in the shorter-term.
All growers must be aware that this is only a temporary reprieve.
As an industry we are all responsible to take the appropriate steps when it comes to burning dry orchard waste. Although our industry does not represent all rural land-owners, collectively we must all work with council to develop an acceptable plan for controlled burning.
On 1st September the winter outdoor burning restrictions are lifted. If you intend to burn diseased material or trees from development blocks after this date, you MUST adhere to the outdoor burning rules, if we are to retain our current privilege of burning wood material during winter.
- Burning dry, diseased wood that has been pulled out and left drying for a minimum of three months.
- Do NOT burn if the wind is likely to cause smoke to drift towards Airzone 1 of the Napier or Hastings Airsheds, OR in highly stable, calm conditions i.e. where wind speed 1m above the ground is less than 3 metres per second.
- Do NOT burn any plastics including string and twine.
- Do NOT burn prunings
- Vegetative material must have been generated on the property containing the horticultural production land.
- Keep fires burning hot
Please take time to review the current guidelines for outdoor burning. These can be found on the HBRC website: Burning Information Sheet
If you have any queries or concerns please email HBFA Executive Officer firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 06 870 8541.