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Domestic Wood Burners / Solid Fuel HeatersPākaiahi

Information around the design and installation of solid fuel heaters (wood burners).

Solid Fuel Heaters (wood burners) 

You must be particularly careful when undertaking work involving the installation of a solid fuel heater (wood burning appliance) - as an incorrectly installed solid fuel heater may result in the loss of life, the loss of your building and may also invalidate the insurance cover on your property.  


Before the installation of a solid fuel heater can take place - you must apply for and be issued with Building Consent


A second-hand solid fuel heater which is older than two years will not be granted Building Consent to be reinstalled. If you wish to apply for Building Consent to reinstall a second-hand solid fuel heater less than two years old the original proof of purchase, relevant installation criteria and a "Condition Report" of the solid fuel heater will be required.

Alterations or modifications to the solid fuel heaters' structural components do not automatically re-instate Building Code compliance. Due to the complexity of proving a second-hand appliances' durability - its more often simpler and safer to simply replace the solid fuel heater with a new appliance. The specific requirements of solid fuel heating appliances installation criteria must be carefully followed.


A Code Compliance Certificate must be obtained from the Building Consent Authority (Council) before you ignite the appliance.

All combustible materials adjacent to these appliances must be considered, so to maintain the clear distances between the appliance and other items like curtains, cabinets, wood storage baskets etc. On no account should the clear distances be altered. Nor should the appliances protective screens or guards be removed especially when young children are present. 

Most heaters and their flues must be regularly cleaned and checked for safety and soundness.  



General Information

The web page for a national list of authorised domestic wood burners can be found on: and type in the Search window 'wood burner'

When a solid fuel heater is intended to be installed within a building which is on Lot size of less than 2 hectares this requires a solid fuel heater that is  more efficient and produces lower carbon emitting burning ability than one allowed on a larger property. 

Heat pumps, heat transfer systems, air conditioners and gas heaters do not require a building consent, but it is advised that a Certificate of Compliance (Energy Certificate) be obtained from the either the electrical or gas appliance installer.

When installing a solid fuel heater into any building - it is most likely that a reassessment of the the smoke alarm criteria  will be re - checked against compliance with the Building Code and Building Act. Your local Building Consent Authority will be able to assist with this assessment.  


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