Permits are required for trading in the public places in our city.
Busking and street performance helps to enrich Christchurch’s vibrancy and is defined as any person or group of persons who are actively providing a performance to entertain in exchange for a donation.
Busking and other street performance makes an important contribution to the vibrant cultural life in Christchurch. We’ve made it easy for people to perform in the Central City where there are several excellent spaces, such as Hack Circle.
The Code of Conduct for street performers provides the framework to assist performers, businesses and residents in understanding the rules for busking. The aim is to foster an environment that encourages and enables a range of street performances while recognising the importance of safety, amenity and minimising complaints and other issues.
All street performers are required to fully read and adhere to the Code of conduct for street performers(external link).
As a performer, you are able to:
The Council may, from time to time, designate specific areas where street performance is permitted or prohibited. The nominated street performance areas will be included in a register.
All street performers should note that the sale of any goods is not permitted as part of the street performance activity. A separate trading permit under this policy must be obtained to do so.
Performers will require a permit if:
The fee for this permit is $40 (including GST).
Please note, applications will be actioned within 10 working days provided all the required information has been submitted. If the form is incomplete there may be a delay in processing.
We have laid out rules for managing street performers in public places in the following:
Mobile trading is the temporary trading activity from a location for a period of up to one hour. For example, roadside stalls, coffee carts and ice cream trucks.
Mobile or travelling shops are not permitted on some roads:
Permanent mobile food stall sites are listed in a register on the Council website. The allocated sites for permanent mobile food stall locations are tendered on the expiry of a licence.
The fee for a mobile or travelling shop permit is $150 (including GST). Please note, applications will be actioned within 10 working days provided all required information has been submitted. If the form is incomplete there may be a delay in processing.
Christchurch City Council regulates the activities of mobile or travelling shops under the following:
Stalls are a common way to start a business, promote products at events, raise funds for charitable and educational organisations, or as a way for existing food businesses to reach new customers.
A retail stall is a stand, stall, tent, mobile shop or other set-ups that is temporary, removed each day and is operated for less than six months in any 12-month period.
Stall operators selling food must also comply with the Food Act 2014 in respect of food to be sold at the stall.
Note that market stall applicants must approach the market organiser directly for a site.
No permission will be given for mobile trading on State Highways, arterial routes (as defined in the District Plan) or roads with a speed limit that exceeds 50km/hour. This to ensure the safety of vendors and customers as well as pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Exceptions can be made if the activity is part of an organised event and all traffic management requirements are met.
The fee for a retail stall licence is $100 (including GST). Please note, applications will be actioned within 10 working days provided all the required information has been submitted. If the form is incomplete there may be a delay in processing.
On 28 February 2019 the Council approved micro-mobility services to operate in Christchurch and recommended a city-wide cap of 1600 vehicles, to avoid an oversupply of idle vehicles creating public obstructions.
As of May 2019, the cap of 1600 e-scooters has been fully allocated.
In addition to the cap, the Council recommended charging a fee associated with the permit to ensure the use of public space is managed fairly and to balance the use of public space with the interests of commercial activities.
A hawker is someone who travels about carrying goods for sale unsolicited to the public, but does not display them on a table or stall, such as a pedlar. A permit is required for hawking in public places, and it is not permitted in some areas of our city.
Trading from a fixed location is not permitted.
In considering an application to hawk, the Council will take into account the:
The conditions for hawkers and the areas where this activity is permitted will be set out in an approval letter after the application has been considered.
If a hawker is selling food, a health licence may also be needed.
Hawking does not include stallholders or people with mobile or travelling shops.
The fee for this permit is $40 (including GST). Please note, applications will be actioned within 10 working days provided all the required information has been submitted. If the form is incomplete there may be a delay in processing.
Complaints relating to hawkers operating in public places should be referred to the:
Complaints relating to hawkers on private property – hawkers who go door to door to sell on private property do not operate in a public place, and do not fall within the requirements of the Public Places Bylaw 2018.
Complaints about hawkers on private property should be referred to:
Pedestrians washing or offering to wash a vehicle when the vehicle is not legally parked is prohibited by the Land Transport Act 1998. The Council will not issue licences to people who want to wash windscreens on public roads. Complaints about windscreen washers should be referred to the New Zealand Police(external link).
An area in Cathedral Square has been designated as a special use area for public speaking. No booking is required however only one hour speaking at a time is permitted.
All users are required to fully read and adhere to the Code of Conduct – Speaker’s Corner(external link).
Pavement art is only permitted in the Central City if it is part of an approved event. The event permit will specify where pavement art can be located as part of the event.
The Council may, from time to time, designate specific areas where pavement art is permitted or prohibited. The nominated areas will be included in a register on the Council website.
For pavement art outside Central City, a permit is required. The following conditions apply to pavement art:
All pavement artists should note that the sale of any goods is not permitted as part of the street performance activity. A separate trading permit under this policy must be obtained to do so.
Advertising on the pavement is not considered pavement art under the Trading and Events in Public Places Policy 2018 and is not allowed in any circumstances.
A street performance permit is required for pavement art. The fee for this permit is $37 (including GST). Please note, applications will be actioned within 10 working days provided all required information has been submitted. If the form is incomplete there may be a delay in processing.
Council has laid out rules for managing street performers in the public places it manages in the following:
All associated fees are detailed on the application form.
Amusement devices are regulated under the Amusement Device Regulations 1978(external link). This requires that all devices have a valid Certificate of Registration and that whenever they are operated they have a local authority permit (Regulation 11(external link)).
Please note the following to help us process your application:
Download and complete a permit to operate a registered amusement device form [PDF 45KB].
Complaints about traders or events may be made to the Council through the Council’s website or by phoning 03 941 8999.
When contacting the Council to make a complaint, the complainant should, where possible, provide:
Complaints regarding violent, disorderly or offensive behaviour should be referred in the first instance to the NZ Police(external link) and then to the Council.
Complainants are encouraged to talk to the trading, event or activity operator to explain the issue and potential resolution (e.g. trade or perform elsewhere, reduce the noise level, or relocate if the activity is on a prohibited site).