Keeping animals

We aim to provide a balanced approach between the rights of people to keep animals (excluding dogs), poultry and bees and the rights of the public to be free of annoyance or nuisance such as excessive noise, smell or health risks in our urban areas through our Animals Bylaw 2017.

The following information is an overview of the requirements for keeping animals, bees and poultry in urban areas.

Obligations of animal owners

  • The owner or person in charge of any animal must always:
  1. ensure that animal does not cause a nuisance to any other person
  2. ensure that animal does not cause a risk to public health and safety
  3. ensure that animal does not damage any property belonging to any other person.
  • Any owner who, in the opinion of an enforcement officer, fails to comply with these obligations, must act on any requests of the enforcement officer to comply with these obligations, including, if directed, to remove the animals from the property within a specified period.

Note: Animal owners are required under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to provide for the physical, health and behavioural needs of their animals, including food, water, shelter and exercise. 

Bees

  • No person shall keep bees in the District if in the opinion of an enforcement officer, the keeping of bees is likely to become a nuisance or potential danger to any person.
  • Council may prescribe conditions relating to the location and number of hives able to be kept on any premises in an urban area.
  • If Council considers a hive or hives is likely to become a nuisance or potential danger to any person, it may require removal of such hive(s).
  • A person may keep bees in the urban areas as follows:
Property area Maximum number of hives
700 square metres or less 2
701-4000 square metres 4
4001 square metres or greater 6
  • Council may issue permits to persons to keep additional hives to those permitted.
  • Council may prescribe any conditions, including specifying distances from boundaries, maximum number of hives and time limits on permits issued.
  • Council may by resolution:
  1. charge a fee for receiving and processing an application and issuing a permit
  2. prescribe any charges to be paid for the use of a permit
  3. determine situations when permit fees may be remitted, refunded or waived.
  • A permit may be cancelled by Council at any time.

Poultry

There are some specific restrictions about the keeping of poultry in urban areas.  They are: 

  • No person may keep a rooster on any premises in an urban area.
  • A person may keep up to six head of poultry in an urban area on premises smaller than 2000 square metres.
  • A person may keep up to 12 head of poultry in an urban area on premises of 2000 square metres or more.

 

Stock

Stock means cattle, deer, llamas, alpacas, donkeys, mules, horses, sheep, goats, pigs and any other animal kept in captivity, or farmed, and dependant on humans for their care and sustenance. 

There are some specific restrictions in the keeping of stock in urban areas.

  • A person must not keep stock in an urban area on premises smaller than 4000 square metres.
  • Council may issue permits to keep stock in an urban area on premises of 4000 square metres or more.
  • Council may issue permits to persons to keep stock whose premises change from a rural to an urban environment, due to Whangarei District Plan changes.
  • Council may prescribe any conditions, including specifying distances from boundaries, maximum number of permissible stock and time limits on permits issued.
  • Council may by resolution:
  1. charge a fee for receiving and processing an application and issuing a permit
  2. prescribe any charges to be paid for the use of a permit
  3. determine situations when permit fees may be remitted, refunded or waived.
  • a permit may be cancelled by Council at any time.