Introducing a code of practice for the burning of stubble may
be more effective than imposing regulations, Environment
Canterbury commissioner David Caygill told Ashburton District
Mr Caygill was replying to questions, at a meeting of the
council, about air quality when stubble is burned. Cr Russell
Ellis asked if the regional council was investigating whether
smoke from stubble burning was carcinogenic.
Mr Caygill said Environment Canterbury was concerned about
stubble burning but it would be the Canterbury District
Health Board which would know more about its impact on human
He said he was well aware of complaints about smoke from
burn-offs and accepted it was an issue.
''To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure it is the sort of
activity to be easily regulated. But common sense and good
behaviour will not be enough if it is a health issue.''
Mr Caygill said a code of practice was being developed in the
farming sector and he was keen to see this progress.
He also updated the district council on the regional
council's stronger enforcement around the use of log burners
in Christchurch. There were two issues: whether the appliance
was lawful and whether it was being operated appropriately.
Because of Christchurch's topography, the issue was a human
health one, Mr Caygill said.
Cr Ellis said it appeared there was one set of rules around
air quality for some (owners of log burners) and yet others
were being asked to take a common sense approach (farmers
Mr Caygill replied by saying one was established to be a
health issue while the other might or might not be.