On 1 July 2017, Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 came into force. Fire and Emergency New Zealand is responsible for all the rural fire functions of the five districts within Otago and the public conservation land.
If you live in a rural area anywhere in the Queenstown Lakes District, you will need to get a permit from the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Principal Rural Fire Officer for any outdoor fires. This includes farms, lifestyle blocks and dwellings outside urban boundaries, and covers fires to burn stubble and trimmings as well as bonfires.
There is no cost to obtain a fire permit but it may take around five working days to issue, and may involve a site inspection. Think ahead and apply well before you expect to start burning.
When conditions are dry, Fire and Emergency New Zealand may declare a restricted or prohibited fire season.
Please contact Fire and Emergency New Zealand for any questions regarding permitting, rural fire volunteers or rural fire control.
Queenstown and Wanaka both have red zones where fires are strictly prohibited at year round. Fireworks are also banned in these areas.