You must obtain a building consent to install or move a solid or liquid fuel space heater in your building.

Once it is installed or moved, you should obtain a code compliance certificate before the appliance is used. While you do not need a building consent to replace a flue or firebricks with comparable materials, your work will still need to comply with the building code(external link).

Installing a heat pump does not require a building consent but must be installed by registered electricians who certify their own work.

Note: The Council may make a decision to issue the code compliance certificate for a solid fuel burner without an application being submitted if satisfied that the requirements of Section 94 of the Building Act 2004(external link) have been met.

All construction documentation should be on-site or received and accepted at this time, if not previously submitted.

Please refer to the building consent construction documentation and advice notes provided with your building consent at the time of issue.

  1. Check Environment Canterbury's (ECan) list of authorised solid fuel burners. The Council has checked and approved the installation instructions for most burners shown on the list of authorised appliances.(external link)  

    Note: The rules around which solid fuel burner you can install have changed when within a clean air zone and in a site less than two hectares.  From 1 January 2019, any new burner installed must be an ultra-low emission burner. Find out about your clean air zone(external link).
  2. Obtain a building consent:
    • Apply for a building consent by completing the building consent application (Form 2 B-002H [PDF, 218 KB]) also available in Word [DOCX, 479 KB] and pay your fixed fee of $390. Refer to the Building Consents Fee Schedule for any additional fees
    • The application form requires a full plan of the house to be provided, showing the location of the burner and position of smoke detectors that may be required. The plan must include any sleep out on the property and, if an oil burner is proposed, show the position and details of the storage tank.
    • Your application can be processed promptly if the form is filled out completely and accurately and your burner is on ECan’s list of authorised appliances.
    • Proof of ownership - a current copy of the certificate of title (less than six months old).
    • Once your building consent is issued you can install your heating appliance. Remember, do not use it until it has passed a Council inspection and you have received your code compliance certificate.
  3. Inspection and code compliance certificate
    • When the work is completed, you can book a Council inspection. Once you have passed the inspection, you can apply for a code compliance certificate.
    • When you have obtained the code compliance certificate, you can use your heating appliance.

Second hand solid and liquid fuel burners cannot be installed unless:

    • A current Clean Air approval label is attached to the appliance. This is not applicable to some minor rural areas of Christchurch.
    • Written evidence is provided to show that the appliance meets building code requirements. An acceptable method is a satisfactory report from the manufacturer or manufacturer’s agent.

A new inner flue is required in all cases.

Heating systems that require building consent also include:

    • Any system using reticulated water, like under floor heaters or radiators where these are connected to the drinking water supply.
    • All commercial heating and ventilation systems.

Heaters that do not require building consent are:

    • Gas heaters (permanently fixed in place) do not need a building consent, but they must be installed or supervised by a certifying gas fitter who will certify their own work.
    • Fixed electric space heaters, including heat pumps, do not require building consent, but they must be installed by registered electricians who certify their own work.

If you decide to make changes to your building consent then you will need to make a formal application for amendment.

Some changes can be processed as in-house minor variations (such as changing the make or model of your burner) and some require full amendments (such as a change of location).

Refer to our Change Your Building Consent webpage for further information.

The fee as stated on our Building Consents Fee Schedule will need to accompany the application.

Older-style wood burners

An older-style wood burner is not permitted for use, regardless of its age. It can be replaced by an ultra-low emission burner.

Contact Environment Canterbury on 0800 324 636 (0800 ECINFO) if you are unsure about what type of burner you have, or if you are worried about your home heating situation.

Chimney or flue height requirements when installing a wood burner

For more information about installation standards, see AS/NZ2918. (external link)

Sometimes this can be complex, so we recommend you consult an experienced heating appliance installer. This standard contains information such as flue heights and appliances clearances. Manufacturers' installation instructions should be followed.

General guidance for the installation of roof flashing to the flue of a solid fuel heater [PDF, 431 KB] (Information sheet B-303).

Smoke alarm [PDF, 241 KB] (Information sheet B-311).

Ask a duty building consent officer for more advice: