Disgruntled Timaru residents will meet authorities in an attempt to change looming regulations on log burners, following a heated meeting attended by hundreds.
Timaru pensioner Doug Cleveland organised the public meeting on Sunday at the Southern Trust Events Centre where a packed house voiced its frustrations.
Speaking to The Courier this week, Mr Cleveland said a committee had been formed following Sunday’s event and would meet later this week to discuss key issues.
They would then take them to a meeting with Environment Canterbury and Timaru District Council officials next week.
Mr Cleveland said he would chair the committee and be supported by Tom O’Connor, Les Rawling, Helen Henderson, Mark Rogers, Cath Bakkan, Kim Spencer and Charles Roebuck.
Their concerns relate to changes to the Timaru Clean Air Zone, in which the deadline to get a consent to replace a wood burner older than 15 years with a low-emission wood burner is October 31.
Use of existing low-emission burners is allowed for up to 15 years or until January 1, 2019, whichever is later.
Open fires can be replaced only with an ultra-emission burner, under new Environment Canterbury wood burner rules.
Mr Cleveland said his main concerns were about the replacement of older log burners.
“There is no problem with a lot of the older log burners,” he said.
“It is a matter of the quality of the wood and the skill of the operator.”
Environment Canterbury South Canterbury councillor Peter Scott, along with Timaru Mayor Damon Odey and other local government representatives, attended Sunday’s meeting.
Speaking to The Courier after the meeting, Mr Scott said Environment Canterbury would be happy to enter discussions with the newly formed committee.
“I am advocating for [the] ECan plan, but by the same token, these people are ratepayers and I have to listen to what they say,” Mr Scott said.
Mr Cleveland (85) raised concerns with The Courier in May when he estimated 2000 log burners needed to be replaced in Timaru at a cost of between $7million and $15million.
His log burner is 17 years old and he said it could cost him up to $7500 to replace.
“I can’t afford it,” he said.