​The type and size of sign you can have depends on the purpose and location of the sign.

The relevant rules for signs are in the District Plan. What signs are allowed will depend on what the purpose is and where they are located. The rules will indicate the type and size of sign is allowed for in the different resource areas.

If you want to put up a sign that doesn’t comply with the District Plan requirements you may need a resource consent.

Some signs may also need building consent, depending on size and dimensions.

Sandwich board and flag type signs are covered by Council’s Roading Policy (PDF, 981KB) Section 18 Advertising on Roads.

If you are thinking of putting up a sign you should contact Council planning staff to discuss what the requirements are for your site.​

District-wide Rules

The design of signs and where they are placed is really important. Badly designed or placed signs can be distracting or even dangerous to passing traffic, like reflective or flashing lights – these are not allowed. Make sure you read the district wide rules for signs before you start designing you signs or better still, come talk to us.

Some key points to note:

  • Lettering size needs to be at least 120mm when the speed limit is less than 70km/hour, and at least 160mm when it’s over 70km/hour.
  • All signs must be on the property that it relates to. If they’re not, they are considered to be hoarding and are non-complying. This includes signs on vehicles. If your sign is hoarding, then you’ll need Resource Consent.

  • Temporary signs, for example advertising an event, should be put up no more than three months before an event and taken down seven days after it.

Specific Rules

There are specific standards for each resource area.

To read more about the rules for each resource area (below), see the related sections of the District Plan. District Wide standards (see above) still apply for all the areas. If you are unsure of the area you are in, or the relevant standards, please talk to us.

  • Rural Resource Area (Section 4)

    You’re allowed signage up to a total of 3m² on a site.
  • Residential Resource Area (Section 7)

    You’re allowed a sign of up to 0.5m² on a site.
  • Business Resource Area (Section 8)

    You’re allowed up to 10m² of signage for one site and up to 3 freestanding signs, although size and design is important. Signs need to be under the highest point of a building they’re attached to. There are restrictions as to where you can put signs in relation to footpaths and roads. Signs can be lit up, but not moving or flashing.
  • Industrial Resource Area (Section 9)

    Sign design and size is important in this area. For example, there are restrictions about where you can place signs in relation to footpaths and roads. Signs can be lit up, but not moving or flashing.
  • Rural Settlement Resource Area (Section 10)

    There are no specific standards for this area, other than the District Wide standards (above).
  • Heritage Precincts (Section 11)

    Heritage Precincts are an important part of the district’s history, and signage that’s in keeping with the character of the areas is important. If you’re changing colours of a sign significantly or adding a sign in this area, it’s a discretionary (restricted) activity and needs resource consent. 
Page reviewed: 26 Sep 2016 4:05pm