Skip to main content

Arotakehia tō kāinga

Permanent outdoor fireplaces and ovens

If you are planning an outdoor fire for cooking or heating, it's important that you take steps to reduce the risk of that fire getting out of control.

Types of small heating or cooking fires

It is a good idea that you check the current fire season rules on the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website before you light any small heating or cooking fire, such as:

  • gas or solid fuel barbecue or braai
  • pizza oven
  • brazier
  • outdoor fireplace
  • hāngi, umu, lovo or other earth oven.

These types of structures should be located at least 1 metre from any combustible objects, such as trees, shrubs, buildings or wood storage piles.

Keep heating or cooking fires safe and under control

It is a good idea for you to check the fire safety tips and how to reduce the risks of fire on the Fire and Emergency New Zealand website

  • Inform your neighbours, if possible.
  • Minimise the amount of smoke by, keeping it hot, using clean burning fuel such as untreated, dry wood not burning rubbish or plastic, this is illegal.
  • Have water near to put the fire out if it escapes.
  • Clear any combustible material such as dead grass, dry leaves and sticks.
  • Only burn in light wind or calm weather conditions.
  • Shelter the fire using non-flammable material, such as old roofing iron.
  • Set your fire away from trees, property boundaries, buildings or wooden fences.
  • Keep your fire supervised at all times.
  • Make sure all embers are extinguished before you leave the fire unattended and that they are disposed of safely.

Our tip

You can check the temperature of the ash by holding the back of your hand carefully above the ash. Then use a shovel to turn the ash over and repeating the check with the back of your hand.

For new gas fixtures, request a gas safety certificate from the gasfitter and check the licence is current online.

Consider when fire bans are active in your area.

Tips for building safe outdoor ovens, pizza ovens and fireplaces

Under the NZ Building Regulations there is a lot of building work you can do yourself.

Consider your neighbours when you are planning where to put your chimney.

Build away from any combustible material such as trees, shrubs, buildings, decks, wood storage piles or wooden fences.

  • Users should always follow manufacturer’s safety precautions.
  • Gas burning outdoor fireplaces or ovens must be installed by an authorised gasfitter.

Check your height to boundary restrictions by calling us and asking for the planning helpdesk:

09 301 0101

 Related topics



Minimise smoke from your fireplace smoke from your fireplaceFind out how to minimise smoke from your fireplace.aspxAir quality Pollution
Rules for outdoor fires for outdoor firesFind out what rules apply for outdoor fires, including residential or business areas, public areas, and the Hauraki Gulf islands.aspxOutdoor fires and fireworks
Check if you can light a fire in your area if you can light a fire in your areaFind out what kind of fires you can light on your property.aspxOutdoor fires and fireworks
Report smoke and pollution from fires smoke and pollution from fires How to report smoke or pollution and what we can do about it. aspxOutdoor fires and fireworks
Rules for domestic heating appliances for domestic heating appliancesObserve the rules on domestic heating appliances to limit particle emissions.aspxAir quality Pollution