A paper road is a legal road which Council owns but which hasn't been formed as a road for vehicles. The public is able to use paper roads, but generally only for walking or cycling.
Some paper roads cut across private land and courtesy must be shown to the landowners.
A paper road may never be needed as a formed road, in which case Council can undertake a process to remove the roading designation. This is called 'road stopping'.
In some cases, Council may offer the adjacent landowner the right to purchase the land.
Road Stopping application form and information(PDF, 385KB)
The road stopping process
Road stopping is publicly notified and the steps to be followed are set out in Schedule 10 of the Local Government Act 1974.
Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 10 (legislation.govt.nz)