Burning complaints and illegal burning infringements in Hawke's Bay have nearly halved in the past two years.
It's a trend that has helped Hastings achieve its best air quality in at least 15 years, Hawke's Bay Regional Council says.
The council's group manager of policy and regulation, Katrina Brunton, said she wanted to thank growers, farmers, lifestylers, and city dwellers for following the rules and keeping the community healthy.
"We still have a way to go but this year's figures show we are on the right track."
There were 143 complaints in 2019, which dropped to 118 in 2020 and again dramatically to 78 in 2021.
Sixty-six Infringements were issued in 2019 which decreased to 45 in 2020, and dropped again to 31 in 2021.
Brunton said, however, it was disappointing that a number of infringements were still issued for the burning of prohibited items.
"We will continue to enforce the burning rules next season.
"Burning items like metal, treated timber, plastic, and household furniture endanger the health of the people in our communities."
Regional Council principal scientist air Dr Kathleen Kozyniak said on the whole it had been a good winter for air quality, particularly in Hastings.
"Napier had just one exceedance and Hastings didn't exceed the National Environmental Standard for PM10 for the first time since continuous monitoring began in the city about 15 years ago.
"This year continues a trend for Hastings of concentrations progressively decreasing.
"It's been very heartening to see better air quality for residents as payback for the efforts people have made to reduce their emissions of particulates."
She says the weather could be the reason why Hastings fared better than Napier.
"Average temperatures during winter in Hastings were a little warmer and windier than usual, with a decrease in downslope, southwest winds that come from the ranges under frosty conditions, and an increase in easterlies.
"The increase in easterlies is likely to have contributed more natural sources, like sea salt, to both Awatoto and Napier's concentrations so might explain why we didn't see any real reductions in those places compared to Hastings."
The rules for burning dictate - outdoor burning is banned for properties in the Napier and Hastings airsheds from May 1 until August 31.
For people outside the Napier and Hastings airsheds, outdoor fires are allowed if they only burn untreated wood, paper, cardboard, or vegetation, and the fire isn't a nuisance to neighbours.
Outdoor fires are not allowed when there's a restricted fire season or fire ban in place. Fire restrictions and permits are managed by Fire and Emergency New Zealand.
However, anyone who has a permit must still follow the Regional Council's rules.
If you see illegal burning please let our Pollution Hotline know on 0800 108 838.