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Fire permits

Check if you need a fire permit to light a fire in the open air in the Gisborne district.

Check the fire season status for your location

Lighting a fire in the city or urban residential area

A permit is required to light a fire in the Gisborne urban and rural residential area.

  • a permit is required all-year round to light a fire in the open, including an incinerator.
  • a permit is required all-year round for a hangi or umu - read more information
  • you cannot light an open rubbish fire if you have a neighbour within 50 metres
  • if you're not the property owner, you need the land owner's written approval 
  • a total fire ban applies in a prohibited fire season - no open air fires
  • you cannot light an incinerator in a restricted or prohibited fire season
  • never burn any treated, tanalised or painted timber
  • no fires are allowed to burn after dark
  • no bonfires

You can request a fire permit online

Lighting a fire on a rural propertyPamphlet - Is your property at risk from fire?

You may need a permit to light a fire in the open. Check the fire season status

If you live in a rural area a fire permit is required in a  Restricted fire season.  Check Fire and Emergency New Zealand website

Lighting a fire on the beach

Fires long the city beach front and Kaiti Beach are prohibited at all times.

Fires on other beaches in the region and on the beach front from the green navigation beacon, past Pacific Street, out to the Waipaoa River mouth are allowed while the rural fire season is open.  Fires can only be lit below the high tide mark, on the sand. They must be constantly monitored and must not be left unattended. All fires should be fully extinguished with water once people have finished with them.

Burning in an incinerator

You're not allowed to light an incinerator in a Restricted or  Prohibited fire season.

You may only use an incinerator that is specifically designed and constructed.  Old drums are not suitable unless they have been specially adapted as an incinerator.

Your incinerator should have:

  • a grate system to allow a free flow of air through the incinerator to aid burning
  • a cover to contain the burning material 
  • a spark catcher to prevent the escape of sparks and embers

Your incinerator must be more than 5 meters from the boundary, buildings or anything that could catch on fire.

Be a good neighbour

Consider your neighbours when lighting an incinerator or fire.  You must:  

  • not light your incinerator in a restricted or prohibited fire season
  • only burn during daylight hours - no fires are allowed after dusk or before dawn  
  • only burn dry organic material - no green waste
  • never burn any treated, tanalised or painted timber
  • only light your incinerator occasionally - do not burn every week or weekend
  • under no circumstances burn plastic including disposable nappies
  • consider your neighbours - do not burn when it's windy, or if they have washing on the line
  • consider recycling, composting, mulching or Second-hand Sunday collections

Do you need a permit for a hangi or umu?  

If you live in an urban area a permit is required all-year round regardless of the fire season.   

If you live in a rural area a fire permit is required in a  Restricted fire season.  Check Fire and Emergency New Zealand website

A permit can take up to 3 working days to issue.

During a prohibited fire season, special circumstances can be excluded such as a tangi  or funeral, please check with us.

If you are selling your hangi, you also need a food stall permit.   For more information about selling hangi

Fire permit request - you can request a fire permit online

Fire danger or complaints

If there is immediate danger to people or property - ring 111

If there's no immediate danger to people or property - such as your neighbour is lighting their incinerator when you have washing on the line, please contact us or tell us on an eFix form  

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