Your rights and responsibilities if you are wanting to build a deck or fence on your property.
The planning rules for decks vary depending on the zoning of the property and the height of the deck:
For more information about the specific rules for your property please contact our Duty Planner.
Decks require a building consent where it is possible to fall more than 1.5 metres so we recommend checking this before you start any building work.
Whether a building consent is required or not, a safety barrier is required where the fall is 1 metre or more.
If you are wanting to build a fence it is best to plan carefully so that your fence adds to your property rather than detracting from it.
The Fencing Act 1978 sets out rights and responsibilities relating to fences between neighbouring properties. You can find out more information from the Consumer building website(external link).
If the fence you are wanting to build is a boundary fence between your property and a Council-owned park or waterway, the Council will generally share the cost of this. Please contact the Council on 03 941 8999 to discuss it before commencing any work.
There are several things you will need to check when thinking about building a boundary fence, as you may need to apply for a resource consent as well as a building consent:
Please note that a fence is required to comply with the building code even if a building consent is not required. Most retailers of fencing materials should be able to assist with standard residential fence design.
If the fence will be located close to a stream, river or open drainage channel, there are specific waterway setback rules in the District Plan to consider. Fences located within the waterway setback must meet the following requirements, otherwise a resource consent will be needed:
These requirements do not apply where there is a road or esplanade reserve between the waterway and the fence, or where the fence is only temporary and will be in place for less than three months.
For more information, or to find out what waterway setback applies to your property, please contact our Duty Planner.
The Council Public Places Bylaw 2018 states that barbed wire, razor wire or electrified wire may not be used within one metre of any property boundary adjoining any public place, unless the wire is at a height of 2.5 metres or more above ground level, or the public place is in a rural area.
Internal boundary fences are covered by the Fencing Act 1978.
If the height of the fence is over 2.5 metres, resource consent and a building consent will be required. It is recommended that you contact the Duty Planner on 03 941 8999 if your proposed fence is over this height.
The Council has no jurisdiction over disputes relating to boundary fences unless the fence is dangerous. Legal rights and obligations relating to fences are covered by the Fencing Act 1978(external link).
If you have a dispute with a neighbour about a fence which you cannot resolve through negotiation (or by using fencing notices) you can take the matter to the Disputes Tribunal, the District Court or alternatively to a mediation service.
The only occasions when the Council may be involved in fencing issues is when a fence requires a building consent or resource consent (this is likely to also require written approval of the affected neighbour), or if the fence is located on a boundary adjoining Council land.