Fire and Emergency New Zealand

All Hutt Valley rural fire matters are now managed and administered by Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ). Go to for updates and information about the new amalgamated organisation.

Fire season status

Fire restrictions, season status, and fire permit applications are managed by the Wellington Fire and Emergency New Zealand Principal Rural Officer. To check the season status (and status definitions), visit

Please note:

  1. In a restricted fire season you always need a permit to light a fire in the open, except for gas-fired BBQ’s.
  2. If the fire season status is raised to ‘prohibited’, then no fires will be allowed in the open except for gas-fired BBQ’s and any existing fire permits are automatically suspended.

Urban fire restrictions

There is no application form or process for an urban fire however, if you are lighting a fire in an urban area of Upper Hutt please refer to our Urban Fire Prevention Bylaw.

The bylaw explains:

  • conditions for lighting fires in the open air
  • conditions for lighting barbeques and traditional cooking fires
  • prohibition of fires during a prohibited fire season
  • exemptions from prohibitions on lighting fires in the open air.
  • penalties for breach of bylaw.

View/download the Upper Hutt City Council Urban Fire Prevention Bylaw [PDF 152 KB]

For more information about urban fire restrictions please contact us on (04) 527 2169 or the Upper Hutt Fire Station on (04) 528 2088, alternatively visit the FENZ website at

What is allowed?

Any urban fire won’t require a permit as long as the fire is adequately supervised at all times and is on private property (with the landowner’s permission). This provision covers hangi, umu, barbeques, braziers, outdoor cooking ovens and traditional cooking processes.

Permits/exemptions may be required for one-off events, such as a cultural celebration or Scout/Guide camp fire, filming or training exercises.

Remember that you need to:

  • attend the fire at all times
  • locate the fire away from buildings, trees and fences
  • have a means to extinguish fire
  • don’t cause a smoke nuisance
  • contact fire control – Tel: 04 801 0812 – before you light any fire

What is prohibited?

The following is prohibited as part of the Fire Prevention bylaw:

  • Incinerators
  • Garden waste burnoff – all plant material and debris, whether green or dead, standing, cut, sawn, fallen, windblown, broken, harvest, stubble or stumps
  • Fire on a beach or in a reserve
  • Other combustible material, including household waste, hazardous contaminants, plastic, rubber, treated timber, medical waste and other substances that breach the Greater Wellington Regional Air Quality Management Plan

Rural fires

The law for Wellington has changed. We now run an open fire season in the general Wellington area, when you can have a fire without a permit in rural areas.

Previously a fire permit was required for any open fire.

To check the season status in an area:

Watch out for:

  • fires on a beach – you still need to get a permit
  • fires on DoC land – you still need to get a permit
  • fires in Council parks – use our barbecue areas only please.

It is up to the landowner/land manager to decide what they allow on their land, just because we have an open fire season doesn’t give someone the right to have a non-permitted fire anywhere in the district. FENZ recommends that private landowners put up signage to show if they’re prohibiting fires on their property.

Rural fire permits are issued by Wellington Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Permit applications can be made online. To apply for a permit or to learn more about the application process visit

Fire bans

When the fire danger becomes very high during summer, a prohibited fire season (total fire ban) may be put in place. During a prohibited fire season permits won’t be granted and current permits will be cancelled.

Even when there’s a fire ban you don’t need a permit for:

  •  Gas-operated barbecues
  •  Charcoal barbecues within the confines of an occupied residential property

Rural fire plan

Fire and Emergency NZ’s Principal Rural Fire Officer for Wellington manages and administers the Upper Hutt Rural Fire District; they are responsible for reviewing and updating the Rural Fire Plan every two years.

The fire plan is a statement of fire control policy, chain of command and procedures by Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Legislation requires all FENZ delegates to have an operational fire plan.

Smoke complaints

Rural smoke complaints should be reported to the Greater Wellington Regional Council on 0800 496 734. For more information, visit

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Last updated on 15 Sep 2017