Council & City

Poultry, pigs and bees

If you're thinking about keeping chickens, pigs or other livestock, or setting up a beehive, there are local regulations you need to be aware of.

These regulations come under our Animals and Bees Bylaw. The bylaw allows Palmerston North residents to own animals in a responsible way while minimising impacts on neighbours and protecting public health and safety.

Chickens, roosters and other poultry

You can keep roosters in Ashhurst, Bunnythorpe, Linton and Longburn, or if you hold a valid permit issued under the bylaw. This means that if you want to keep a rooster in the urban area of Palmerston North, you need a permit from the Council.

You're able to keep other types of poultry such as hens, pigeons and ducks, so long as they're properly housed.

Your poultry house must:

  • have a rainproof roof
  • have a floor made of solid wood, concrete or another approved material
  • be surrounded by a raised nib where a poultry run can be attached
  • be at least two metres from a dwelling, and from any boundary not separated by a solid fence
  • be kept clean and in good condition, and free from any offensive smell, overflow or vermin

If you let your poultry range instead of confining them to a run, you must have a secure boundary fence to keep them inside your property.


You can’t keep pigs in the Palmerston North urban area, which is anywhere zoned residential or village in the District Plan. Rules apply if you want to keep pigs on rural land, including requirements for maintaining pigsties, tanks and troughs, and storing pig food. For more detail, see the Animals and Bees Bylaw.

Other livestock

Keeping stock in the urban area is allowed as long as you meet the conditions outlined in the bylaw. Stock should have an adequate and appropriate living environment for their species, and owners must provide for their companionship, space, shelter and shade needs.


You can keep bees in Palmerston North urban areas. Hive placement is important – locate your hives so they don’t become a nuisance or danger to other residents. The Animals and Bees Bylaw sets out the conditions you need to meet to keep bees in the urban area, including the maximum number of hives you can have.

  • Your property must be at least 500m2
  • Hives must not be closer than 1 metre to any boundary unless there is a solid fence 1.6m or taller on that boundary
  • The number of hives must not exceed the number allowed for your property area

Maximum number of hives allowed

500m2 to 700m2 2
701m2 to1000m2 4
1001m2 to 2000m2 6
2001m2 or greater


Biosecurity and food safety requirements

All beekeepers must register their hives with the Management Agency, National Foulbrood Pest Management Plan

If you want to sell your honey, you will have to comply with the Food Act 2014. See the Ministry for Primary Industries website for food safety rules for low-risk businesses