Commercial activities in public places, when they’re appropriate and managed, can add character, vibrancy and safety to urban areas, and can attract visitors.
Examples of commercial activities include events, market stalls, mobile traders, busking and street collections.
Commercial activity is regulated so the Council is aware of who is carrying out commercial activities on Council land and helps us manage any appropriate conditions for specific activities.
Printable version of the Trading and Events in Public Places Policy 2018 [PDF, 486 KB]
Trading and events in public places, where appropriate and well managed, can add character, vibrancy and safety to urban areas and can attract visitors to these locations. The valuable contribution these activities can make to the local culture and economy is widely recognised.
The Trading and Events in Public Places Policy provides the framework to balance street activities against the needs of the environment and the impact public and commercial activities may have on private properties adjacent to public areas.
This policy gives effect to the Public Places Bylaw 2018 and is one of the policies referred to in the bylaw. It should also be read in conjunction with the Council’s General Bylaw 2008; Traffic and Parking Bylaw 2017; Parks and Reserves Bylaw 2016; and the relevant rules, policies and objectives in the District Plan.
This policy aims to ensure that trading and events in public places enhance the life and attractiveness of an area by adding vibrancy and appeal, without inhibiting the safety and efficiency of pedestrian movement and vehicle travel.
2.1 Policy objectives
The objective of this policy is to enable activities that complements the existing commercial sector, meets the needs of residents and visitors, and provides diversity and opportunities to hold a variety of events.
Specifically, the policy seeks to:
Unless otherwise stated, trading and events are only allowed in a public place with consent from the Council. A permit given under this policy only gives the applicant the right to trade or organise events in the specified public area. It is not a permit for the purposes of food hygiene, sale of alcohol, traffic management, or any other legislative requirements, and does not cover private roads, state highways or other roads under the control of the New Zealand Transport Agency, except where responsibility has been delegated to the Council.
Some activities are allowed in public places without a permit from the Council, provided they are carried out in accordance with this policy, including:
3.1 Choosing a location
You will need to get approval from the event/market organiser or landowner. If you are selling food or beverages, you will still need to apply for food registration and/or alcohol licences but you won’t need a Council permit.
Cathedral Square is a special purpose precinct. Any trading activities or events must recognise the important heritage of the area.
Victoria Square has been recognised as an open space area that can be used for festival and theme day activities. Decisions on specific applications for Victoria Square will take into consideration the high quality and unique character of the Square’s environment.
Regular market days, food fairs, and similar promotions will not be approved in Victoria Square.
The Ice Cream Charlie Vanilla Ices mobile stall is authorised to continue to use a designated portion of the roadside adjoining Victoria Square because of the long-standing history that the operation has had in the city. No other permanent mobile shops or other ancillary activities, such as stalls selling market-type items, will be approved.
Following the 2010-11 earthquakes, new public places have been established to regenerate the central city, including public places within the East Frame, South Frame, and Otākāro-Avon River Precinct.
Opportunities are/will be available to use the public places in these areas for community-centred activities. Activities in these areas must complement the vision for the area.
Availability to use these public places is dependent on the completion of each development.
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.
Temporary mobile food stalls are not permitted in the central city, Lyttelton Township Main Business Area, or Akaroa Township Main Business Area, unless part of an organised event or market.
Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The Council will notify the applicant in writing of the outcome of the approval process. The Council may require modifications to the applicant’s proposal and these will be discussed with the applicant before approval is granted.
This policy supersedes any permit/licence previously given by the Council and new permits/licences must be applied for in accordance with this policy. Any current permit/licence with an expiry date may continue until the expiry date or as otherwise stated in the permit/licence.
If the Council declines a permit/licence, the Council will provide reasons for the refusal in writing.
Application forms are available on the Council website.
Guiding Principles for Issuing a Permit or Licence
When deciding whether to approve or decline an application, the Council must consider the following matters:
Fees may be charged for commercial activities or events in public places. The Council’s Schedule of Fees and Charges is available on the Council’s webpage. The fees and charges are revised on an annual basis. The permit/licence applicant must pay the full fee and/or bond, and supply all the required documentation before written approval is issued.
The Council reserves the right to charge rental fees for all commercial activities on a public place. The rent will be set at a level that reflects the value of the location and ensures that businesses on private property are not unfairly disadvantaged. Further fees may be charged depending on the scope of the event/activity, and in accordance with any other approval that may be needed. This may include the payment of a bond.
Fees may be waived at the discretion of an authorised officer for a voluntary organisation, school or community group where satisfactory evidence is produced that the proceeds from any trading are retained wholly for charitable or community purposes.
Anyone trading or holding an event in a public places must abide by the general conditions, conditions specific to the activity and any conditions in the permit/licence.
The general conditions upon which written approval is granted may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Events help us celebrate our identity and environment, bringing life to the city and attracting local, national and international visitors to Christchurch. The Council supports events due to the wide array of social, cultural and economic benefits events provide. Events can lead to stronger communities by bringing people together, raising community spirit and pride in local neighbourhoods and the city.
All event organisers, including Council organised activities and events, must obtain an event permit to operate in a public place.
Trading in public places includes any activity that that is undertaken for payment or reward.
Any group or individual interested in a site, or establishing an open air market, should contact the Council. Market stall applicants must approach the market organiser directly for a site.
The Council may consider permitting the establishment of open air markets in other public places on an individual basis:
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.
Any person wanting to run a stall to prepare or handle packaged or unpacked food for retail sale generally needs a licence. See 6.1 above if the stall is part of a market.
Stall operators selling food must also comply with the Food Act 2014 in respect of food to be sold at the stall.
6.3 Mobile or travelling shops and mobile food stalls
Mobile trading is the temporary trading activity from a location which is vacated once trading has ended for the day. For example, roadside stalls; coffee carts; and ice cream trucks.
A permit is required to operate a mobile food stall.
Most sports and regional parks with offsite parking can accommodate temporary mobile food stalls, such as coffee carts and ice cream trucks. Vendors at parks should always take care not to damage the grassed surfaces, and to seek permission from organised groups using the park. Contact the Council to book a location.
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.
6.4 Goods or services for sale or hire
A permit is required to display goods or services for sale or hire in a public place. This activity includes businesses using the footpath outside their premises to display goods, such as clothing, tables with items for sale, and recreational equipment for hire.
Where goods or services are for sale or hire, the items:
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. A permit is required for hawking in a public place. Trading from a fixed location is not permitted.
Hawkers/Pedlars are not permitted in:
6.6 Street performers
Christchurch has a strong history of street performance which adds to the character of the city. Busking and other street performance makes an important contribution to the vibrant cultural life in Christchurch. All street performers, whether they need a permit or not, must comply with the Code of Conduct for Street Performance. The Code of Conduct is on the Council’s website (www.ccc.govt.nz).
A street performance permit is required:
A permit is valid for a period of up to one (1) year, and the street performer will be able to nominate locations where they wish to perform.
Pavement Art is not permitted in the central city unless it is part of an approved event. A street performance permit is required for pavement art. The following conditions apply to pavement art:
The Council may, from time to time, designate specific areas where street performance (including pavement art) is permitted or prohibited. The nominated street performance areas will be included in a Register on the Council website.
In addition, 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.
The Council works with the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association to roster face-to-face fundraising organisations in the city.
Any individuals, groups or organisations wanting to use a public place to fundraise, and that are not members of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, must contact the Council to determine the suitability, location and time.
Promotions include activities where promotional material is handed out, e.g. pamphlets, free goods. Where a promoter requires exclusive space to park a vehicle or set up equipment an event permit may be required. Contact the Council to discuss the activity.
Promoters should be mindful of the amount of litter that the activity generates, and seek to minimise this by not forcing people to take the item if they do not want it, and picking up any discarded promotional items in the vicinity of the activity.
6.9 Other activities
For activities not specifically listed in this policy, the Council recommends contacting it on 03 941 8999 to discuss whether a permit/licence is required for the activity.
Applications for permits/licences to undertake commercial activities other than those already identified in this policy will be considered on case-by-case basis, taking into account the type of activity, the environment the applicant wants to operate in and the impact on local existing businesses.
The Council will regularly monitor trading and events in public places to ensure that permit and licence holders are complying with their permit or licence conditions. The staff with delegation to grant permits/licences will monitor trading and events in public places, and any issues that cannot be resolved may be referred to the Regulatory Compliance Unit.
Anyone trading or holding an event in a public place without a permit will be asked to cease the activity and remove any associated equipment/material.
Non-compliance with a licence or lease will be managed in accordance with the conditions of the relevant licence or lease.
Complaints about traders or events may be made to the Council via 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 Police, 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).
22 November 2018, to come into force on 1 December 2018.
Date to be reconsidered
Policy to be reviewed in conjunction with the Public Places Bylaw review, or earlier if required.
General Manager, Strategy and Transformation.
In this policy, unless the context otherwise requires:
|Akaroa township main business area||includes Beach Road (Rue Benoit to Bruce Terrace/Lighthouse), Church Street, and Rue Lavaud.|
|Authorised officer||means an officer or other person appointed by the Council to perform duties or give permissions under the Public Places Bylaw 2018, including an enforcement officer.|
|Bylaw||means the Christchurch City Council Public Places Bylaw 2018|
|Central city||as defined in the District Plan, means the area bounded by and including Moorhouse Avenue, Fitzgerald Avenue, Bealey Avenue, Park Terrace, Rolleston Avenue and Antigua Street (to Moorhouse Ave)|
|Corridor Access Request (CAR)||means an application to carry out any work or activity that affects the normal operation of the road, footpath and grass berm prior to performing the work or activity.|
|Council||means the Christchurch City Council and includes any person authorised by the Council to act on its behalf.|
|Food stall/mobile food stall||means a stall selling food and that meets the requirements of the Food Act 2014.|
|Enforcement officer||means any person who has been appointed as an enforcement officer by the Council under the Local Government Act 2002|
|Event||means an organised temporary activity with set start and end dates, which is set-up in a public place. It may be free or ticketed, conducted for the purpose of attracting revenue, support, awareness, and/or for entertainment, community connection or competition. An event may include the erection of structures, setting up of equipment, and other activities that could require exclusive use or prevent access or use by others of the public place.|
|Hawker||includes a pedlar or any person with goods, wares or merchandise for sale that are either carried or taken around by the seller and offered unsolicited to the public in a public place. For avoidance of doubt. It does not include stallholders or mobile or travelling shops.|
|Licence||means a contractual agreement with the Council that authorises the applicant to carry out a specific trade for a specified duration.|
|Lyttelton township main business area||includes London Street (Oxford St to Canterbury St), Oxford Street (Norwich Quay to London St), and Canterbury Street (Norwich Quay to London St).|
|Mobile or travelling shop||means a vehicle, whether self-propelled or not, from which goods, wares, or merchandise may be purchased in the road or from which services are offered for sale in the road; but does not include any vehicle on or from which food is sold for consumption (see (mobile) food stall), or any vehicle used for the purpose of transporting and delivering goods, wares or merchandise.|
|Open air market||means any outdoor place, accessible to the public, where goods or services are offered for sale, which usually consists of several stalls grouped together.|
|Pavement art||means temporary images or drawings created for the purposes of public exhibition either directly on to the pavement or on removable surfaces, such as paper or plastic, laid out on the pavement. Advertising on the pavement is not considered to be pavement art under this policy.|
|Permanent mobile stall||means a mobile stall that has a lease agreement with the Council for more than six months.|
means a permit issued by the Council under the bylaw.
means an area that is open to or used by the public, and which isowned, managed, maintained or controlled by the Council. Public places include, but are not limited to: roads, streets, footpaths, alleys, pedestrian malls, cycle tracks, lanes, accessways, thoroughfares, squares, carparks, reserves, parks, beaches, foreshore, riverbanks, berms, verges, and recreational grounds.
Explanatory Note: Privately-owned public places, such as lanes or squares, will only fall within the above definition if they are also managed, maintained or controlled by the Council. The Council will consider on a case-by-case basis in discussion with the land-owner whether any privately-owned public places should come under Council's management, maintenance or control for the purposes of the Bylaw. Similarly, the Council may enter into an arrangement with the Crown to manage, maintain or control its land by mutual agreement, usually where the land is adjacent to Council-owned land.
|Road||has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Land Transport Act 1998|
|Street performance||includes busking and means a person or group of persons who is/are actively providing a performance to entertain in exchange for a donation. A street performance may include sounding or playing a musical instrument, singing, reciting or performing conjuring, juggling, puppetry, miming, statue acts, dancing or other entertainment, or doing any of those things concurrently.|
|Trading||includes selling, hiring, or displaying any goods or services for sale|
|Traffic Management Plan||means a document describing the design, implementation, management, and removal of temporary traffic management measures (such as signs and road cones) while an activity or event is taking place within the road or adjacent to and affecting the road. This includes plans prepared for one-off events and generic plans to cover activities carried out frequently.|
|Temporary retail||means any stand, stall, tent, mobile shop, vehicle, vessel, or other setup from which goods and/or services are sold that is open in a temporary nature and removed when not in use.|
Printable version of Code of conduct for street performers [PDF, 222 KB]
This Code of Conduct 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 must comply with this Code of Conduct.
You can perform/busk anywhere in the central city except:
Code of Conduct
Following consultation with the community, the Council adopted the Trading and Events in Public Places Policy 2018 on 22 November 2018. It comes into force on 1 December 2018. The Policy gives effect to the Public Places Bylaw 2018, and is one of the operational policies referred to in the Bylaw.
The review of the policy intended to make it clearer and easier to understand for people wanting to trade or hold events in public places. Most of the changes relate to style, removal of duplication in the general conditions section, and updating the policy objectives.
There are no substantial changes to the policy for markets, stalls, mobile or travelling shops and mobile food stalls, goods or services for hire or sale and hawkers/pedlars. All these activities continue to require a permit or licence from the Council.
New additions to the policy include requiring permission for street appeals, fundraising, promotional material and free giveaways.
A Code of Conduct was developed for street performances in the central city, so instead of having a permit system and nominated busking sites (which are currently on Worcester Boulevard and Cathedral Square), performers will have to abide by the Code of Conduct. Outside the central city and for certain performances in the central city, a permit will still be required.
The policy revokes and replaces the following: