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Keeping the Home Fires Burning

New technology is having a significant impact on the future of air quality across New Zealand and there is a growing commitment to creating a cleaner, greener Central Otago.

Air pollution in Otago during winter is reported as among the worst in the country and ten years ago the Otago Regional Council developed its first air quality strategy aimed at meeting the national air quality standards.

In tandem, Arrowtown, Alexandra, Clyde, Cromwell, Wanaka and Queenstown communities have focused on reducing emissions where possible.

One company which is spearheading change is Masport Heating NZ and managing director Mike Daish says their recently launched Ultra Low Emission Burner (ULEB) is ideal for Central Otago residents needing to replace outdated wood burners or installing new ones.

“The new models areincredibly clean burning and perfect for home heating solutionsin these Central Otago towns where the air quality is seasonally compromised and heating performance a must.”

The technology reduces over-heating, prolongs the life of the firebox and provides an extended burn time, all with low operating costs.

“Previously, a clean extended burn was difficult to achieve as logs would burntoo quickly. The new ULEB’s give a longer burn time andhold a flame unlike a traditional wood fire that goescold and dwindles to a smoulder,” he says. “The fires are climate controlled in the way that they hold the temperature and continue to radiate heat, so the comfort level remainshigh. It’s an exciting product to offer to Central Otago homeowners.”

For the past 40 years Masport Heating has produced high quality wood fires and home heating products for Kiwis. The company is a significant employer in New Zealand andsells fires globally.

“A New Zealand manufactured wood fire has been our top priority and in-depth design, research and development has gone into the new range. We have established a class leading 20-year warranty on our ULEBs.”

Mike says the three new Masport NZ HeatingULEB models are available for purchase from Masport heating suppliers.

“As a tribute to some of New Zealand’s iconic waterways we have named the wood burners after South Island rivers, being the Rakaia, the Waimakariri and the Rangitata. Each model isnational clean air certified, doing right by our environment, and all are suitable for use in CentralOtago. We believe these energy efficient wood fires are the future of home heating for the country and especially for regions like Central Otago where low emission fires are critical for improving the air quality.”

Otago Regional Council Resource Tips

The Otago Regional Council Air Quality Scientist Sarah Harrison is promoting options for Central Otago residents to consider when replacing or upgrade heating solutions.

“Cosy Homes Trust can help you navigate available subsidies and grants for insulation and heating appliances. They also have tips on how to increase the energy efficiency of your home in a cost-effective way,” says air quality scientist Sarah Harrison

“Our advice as we enter winter is to only burn dry wood as this ensures the best heat output. Burning wet wood means that the energy from combustion is converted into steam, instead of heat.”

“We also discourage banking down your fire at night. Not only is it dangerous to leave a fire unattended, but this causes very little heat output and maximises air pollution. It is better to restart a fire the next morning.”

Other resources to use are the Cosy Homes Trust ( and EECA Warmer Kiwi Homes (