Media release

ORC Approves option for Air Strategy

Thursday 29 November 2018

Today the Otago Regional Council agreed to adopt a work programme for the implementation of the Air Quality strategy.

The Air strategy aims to strengthen and enhance ORC’s activities to ensure good air quality in Otago, in view of persistent winter air pollution in parts of the region, particularly Arrowtown, Clyde, Alexandra, Cromwell, Milton and Mosgiel.

The work programme’s main focus will be on encouraging the efficient use of compliant burners, phasing out the use of burners which are not compliant with the Air Plan’s rules, encouraging the transition to low impact heating (ultra-low burners, pellet fires, heat-pumps etc.) and reducing outdoor burning.

Staff will work actively in communities across the region and work collaboratively with local partners, for the broader goal of healthy homes and healthy air with the development of local air quality programmes being staged over time. Firstly, in Arrowtown, then Clyde, Alexandra, Cromwell, Milton and Mosgiel. ORC’s rule enforcement approach will also be reinforced as parts of those local programmes.

In 2019, ORC will be preparing a region-wide communication campaign on air quality and will be launching a new “Clean Heat Clean Air’ subsidy to ensure the financial assistance package it provides effectively supports communities in the transition towards low impact heating.

ORC will also work to reduce reliance on outdoor burning, by:

  • Reviewing relevant Air Plan provisions to limit burning to appropriate areas and times;
  • Promoting the development and adoption of acceptable alternatives to outdoor burning with industries;
  • Working with local councils to make it easier to dispose of green waste and diseased material appropriately; and
  • Raising community awareness on rules on burning of offensive waste and appropriate disposal methods.

Director of Policy, Tanya Winter said, “ORC has made the commitment to identify both the issues and outcomes around outdoor burning in urban areas this financial year within its Long Term Plan”.

Ms. Winter said, “Adoption of this Air Strategy will allow for education, support and collaboration to occur amongst councils and communities across the region, with a shared goal to facilitate cleaner heating, a reduction of toxic emissions that threaten the health of people and ecosystems and to ensure air pollution from traffic and industries is effectively addressed.”


For more information, go to our website:



Policy contact:
Tanya Winter – ORC Director Policy, Planning and Resource Consent
Ph 021 379 662


Media contact:
Emma Schranz – ORC Senior Media Advisor
Ph 027 627 5894