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Masterton’s Air Quality

We need to improve Masterton’s air during winter. Wood burning is a great way to keep our homes warm, but it’s also the biggest culprit for smog in winter – and that hurts our health.

If we all burn better and reduce the amount of smoke we put into the air, we can breathe easier. Better burning means more heat from your fire with less smoke – that’s because smoke is just wood that hasn’t been fully burnt. It’s important to make sure your woodburner is efficient, and your wood is dry and untreated. Air quality is measured by World Health Organisation guidelines focused on small, inhalable particle matter, referred to as PM2.5. The WHO target allows no more than three “high pollution” days a year where PM2.5 levels are above a certain level (25 micrograms per cubic metre). Ministry for the Environment is currently consulting on adopting the WHO guidelines for NZ.

In 2019 the Masterton area exceeded the WHO guideline on 40 days. Since monitoring started in 2011 the number of high pollution days per year has been reducing, although the actual number of high pollution days can move up and down between years depending on the weather.

Masterton needs everyone to adopt better wood burning techniques so that we’ve got clean air to breathe during winter.

Here are the main tips:

–        Have your chimney cleaned before each winter
–        Wood is dry, and untreated
–        Your fire burns bright and hot so it doesn’t produce smoke
–        Don’t shut the fire damper (air vent) down overnight

Breathing air polluted with wood smoke harms our health. Effects include:

–        irritated eyes, throat, sinuses, and lungs
–        headaches
–        reduced lung function, especially in children
–        lung inflammation or swelling
–        increased risk of lower respiratory diseases
–        more severe or frequent symptoms from existing lung diseases (such as asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, and bronchitis).

We want Masterton to have healthy, clean air to breathe, let’s all play our part and become better burners.

You can learn more about burning better on the Greater Wellington Regional Council website.

Burn Well Competition

We are giving away a load of firewood to a deserving person to keep them warm this winter. It’s easy to enter, all you need to do is:

  • Watch the video below, 
  • Answer the questions, 
  • Add the details of your nominee and tell us why they should win. 

We will draw a winner and deliver their load of firewood. 

Terms and Conditions

There is one prize available to a winner chosen by Masterton District Council. The prize consists of one trailer load of firewood.

Every nomination is counted as one entry.

Masterton District Council staff and their immediate family are not eligible to enter the competition.

Masterton District Council Burn Well Promotion – June 2021

  1. The promoter is: Masterton District Council whose office is at 161 Queen Street, Masterton.
  2. The competition is open to Masterton District residents and those who own rateable properties within the Masterton District except employees of Masterton District Council and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating their agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  5. Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are on the Masterton District Council website [], a nomination form completion is considered one entry.
  6. Only one entry will be accepted per nominee. Multiple entries will be disqualified.
  7. Closing date for entry will be 4pm Monday 21 June 2021. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  8. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  9. The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows:

To enter the competition the entrant must complete a nomination form and attempt to answer the short quiz questions. If a nominator is unable to complete the online form we will accept a hard copy delivered to 161 Queen Street, or dictated to customer service team members on 06 370 6300. Contact details must be provided to confirm an eligible entry.

  1. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
  2. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
  3. The prize is as follows: One load of firewood delivered to the winner’s home.
  4. The prize is as stated and no alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable.
  5. The winner will be notified by email or phone within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted/does not confirm receipt of the prize we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  6. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  7. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by New Zealand law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of New Zealand.
  8. The winner agrees to the use of their name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current New Zealand data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  9. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network. You are providing your information to Masterton District Council and not to any other party. The information provided will be used in conjunction with the following Privacy Statement found at
  10. Masterton District Council’s decision as to those able to take part and selection of winners is final. No correspondence relating to the competition will be entered into.
  11. Masterton District Council shall have the right, at its sole discretion and at any time, to change or modify these terms and conditions, such change shall be effective immediately upon posting to this webpage.
  12. Masterton District Council also reserves the right to cancel the competition if circumstances arise outside of its control.

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Air Quality Monitoring

To see air quality levels in Masterton and other towns in New Zealand go to the LAWA (Land Air Water Aotearoa) environmental data website.

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