Time is running out for old smokey fires in the Rotorua Airshed but there's still plenty of time to access support to replace them.

The reminder comes after Bay of Plenty Regional Council received numerous reports of people being incorrectly told they must rush into upgrading now or secure a solid fuel burner building consent before January 31 2020.

Involved since the beginning of Rotorua's clean air project almost ten years ago, Senior Regulatory Project Officer Marion Henton said the council had tried to make it as easy as possible for people to upgrade their old fires.

"This project started as a way to address Rotorua's significant winter air quality issue and make breathing easier for the community's most vulnerable.


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"We've been talking about a ban on using non-compliant solid fuel burners since 2015 and now the January 2020 deadline is just around the corner," she said.

"We want to be clear that while non-compliant fires cannot be used after January 31 2020, they don't actually have to be replaced by that date. We are encouraging homeowners to have them replaced by next winter when people need to start heating their homes.

"There is still time and help available," Henton said.

The regional council has schemes to help residents heat up their homes and clean up the air, ranging from free replacement heating appliances, interest-free to low-interest loans added to your rates and help with insulation.

How much help is available depends on your situation and how clean the heating solution you want to upgrade to is. More info at www.cleanairrotorua.co.nz or by calling 0800 884 880.