Can I light a small fire, or even a bonfire, on the beach?

Question Details: What are the rules about having a fire on the beach? Does it matter which beach I'm at?

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Answers by Lawyers

Community Law Wellington & Hutt Valley

It depends on which part of NZ you live in. Some regions have a total fire ban, while other areas will allow you to light an outdoor fire but only with a fire permit. You will need to contact your local Department of Conservation office if the land is DOC land or near DOC land (www.doc.govt.nz). You should also check out the rules with your local council.

In Wellington, for example, if you want to light an outdoor fire, you need to get a fire permit. And there are only two beaches that you can ask for a permit for. Go to your local council office, or look at their website, to download an application form for the fire permit. In Wellington, applications can take up to 7 working days to process as the fire site needs to be inspected to make sure it is safe enough for an open fire. There's more information here: www.wellington.govt.nz

Answered 29 May 2012. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

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