Rotorua residents have woken up to frosty gardens and ice on their windscreens but those hoping to start up the fire tonight will struggle as Rotorua faces a firewood shortage.

It's the first day of winter and already many of Rotorua's firewood stores are low on supply.

Blazing Firewood owner Fabien Goldbert said it was a city-wide shortage of firewood.

Having had discussions with his "competitors" he said they were definitely struggling.


Goldbert has a large yard for storing wood and has been ordering large lots when it became available, which he said had helped.

"You need to be able to store it in large loads.

"I've heard from my suppliers that the ports are so busy there is a hold-up there, then there aren't enough crews and logging trucks to supply the quantity needed."

With Rotorua running low on firewood Blazing Firewood owner Fabien Goldbert is glad he stocked up early. Photo / Stephen Parker
With Rotorua running low on firewood Blazing Firewood owner Fabien Goldbert is glad he stocked up early. Photo / Stephen Parker

Goldbert said there had been a few people getting "stung on Facebook" by dodgy wood sellers.

"Instead of asking if it's dry people need to be looking for wood that has been seasoned, then it doesn't matter if it gets wet, it dries out really quickly."

At Leppers Wood Yard the wet summer has meant the team has not been able to dry and split the logs.

A spokesman said they had been really busy and there wasn't a lot of wood left.

"People are a bit desperate, it is one of the worst years we've had."


The team at Temprite, who supply heat pumps, have been taking the influx of winter customers "in their stride".

Business manager Steve Turner said going into winter had put pressure on staff and resources.

"It's always really hard to compare, because we can be working on commercial jobs, but our work tends to be quite seasonal."

Turner said it was still early days but with forecasters showing a cold winter ahead they had plans in place for a busy three months.

MetService meteorologist John Law said we could blame "lovely sunny days" for the icy mornings we'd been seeing.

He said yesterday the weather at Rotorua airport had gone from freezing at 7am to 12C at lunchtime.

The cold snaps are likely to disappear into the weekend though, Law said.

"Cloud is rolling in through Saturday and that will bring wet weather through the start of next week."

Law said it would be a good time to make sure all firewood was stored in a nice dry place because despite milder temperatures it was going to be a wet week.

From next week Flava will be giving away free firewood with Flava's Free Firewood Fridays thanks to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Blazing Firewood.

Listen to Flava on 89.5 or follow @flavaunitrotorua on Instagram for more.