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Public Places Bylaw

Image for the Public Places Bylaw page.
This page contains a summary of the Public Places Bylaw and a link to the full version of it.
Updated: 6/12/2017 4:04 p.m.

Public Places Bylaw overview

Council makes bylaws to protect the public from nuisance, to protect, promote and maintain public health and safety and to minimise the potential for offensive behaviour in public places.

This bylaw controls a diverse range of activities on roads, streets, beaches, parks, reserves and malls to ensure that acceptable standards of convenience, safety, visual amenity and civic values are maintained for the wellbeing and enjoyment of citizens, visitors and businesses within the District.

Included in the bylaw are clauses relating to buildings or structures in public places, horses and stock on beaches and reserves, removal of trees and plants, obstruction, trading, begging, activities in the central business district or Town Basin and control of skateboards, roller skates and bikes.

2017 Amendments

In September 2017 Council made a Camping in Public Places Bylaw.  This required associated minor amendments to the Public Places Bylaw.  For further information on these amendments please contact us.

Horses on beaches

The Public Places Bylaw 2014 has rules concerning riding horses on the beach in the Whangarei district.  

The bylaw generally permits this activity, however there are some restrictions:

 A summer time ban from 9am to 5pm from 20 December to 31 January

  • Bans on some beaches for conservation purposes (Bland Bay/Teparapra, Bream Head/Ocean Beach, Matapouri, Mimiwhangata Coastal Park, Ngunguru/Horahora, One Tree Point, Ruakaka, Waipu and Whananaki)
  • Safe zones as per the Vehicles on Beaches Bylaw
  • Swimming a horse within 100 metres of a swimmer.
  • Ruakaka beach from the Ruakaka river north to Karawai Street is a restricted area where permission is required to have a horse on the beach.

Horses can cause significant damage our reserves and other infrastructure, accordingly there is a ban on riding or leading horses in Council reserves.  However you can ride or lead your horse over a reserve to access a beach if you take the most direct defined route, use a marked access way and avoid any grassed area. 

If you are parking near a beach please remove your horse from your trailer before parking on a reserve and carefully consider which access way to the beach will be most appropriate for your horse. 

At all times be courteous and be familiar with the full rules in the bylaw. Be aware that some individuals may be concerned about horses.

Please also minimise harm to the environment by riding below high tide and staying way from the dunes.

Please also clean up after your horse if possible. 

Click on the following link to see further guidelines on the Bridleways New Zealand website.

Bridleways New Zealand - Responsible Riding

Activities in the Central Business District (CBD) or Town Basin

Clause 32 of the bylaw details rules about busking and other activities in the CBD or Town Basin. 

Busking is permitted for up to an hour a day to a maximum of three hours a week. A permit is required to exceed this time. A permit is also required to carry out other activities in these areas.

You are welcome to walk your bike through the CBD but you are not permitted to ride your bike or scooter or use your skateboard or roller skates in this area. Clause 33 details these rules and you can view maps of these areas in the bylaw’s appendices.   

To download the Public Places Bylaw in full, click on the following link:


Public Places Bylaw [size:1588kb] 



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