Council & City

Environmental regulations

We enforce a number of environmental rules and regulations from national legislation and local bylaws.

Abandoned vehicles

Abandoned vehicles are covered by the Local Government Act 1974

A car, trailer, truck or other vehicle may be considered abandoned if it:

  • is parked on a road or public place and has been there for a long time, and/or the vehicle is not known to local residents
  • is in a state of disrepair, un-roadworthy or looks wrecked
  • has no recent vehicle registration label, warrant of fitness or license plates.

Vehicles on private property are not considered abandoned, however they may cause nuisance or District Plan issues. Please contact Council and ask to speak to an Environmental Health or Duty Planning Officer.

Removing abandoned vehicles

We will take the following action with abandoned vehicles:

  • Attach a notice to the vehicle requesting it be moved within 10 working days, and make reasonable attempts to contact the owner.
  • Contact Police to find out if they have an interest in the vehicle.

After 10 working days we will:

  • Tow and immediately dump vehicles that we consider to have little or no value.

If the vehicle is judged to be of some value we will:

  • store it for 10 working days
  • make reasonable attempts to contact the last registered owner
  • release the vehicle to the owner if claimed within 10 working days
  • dispose of the vehicle if it's not claimed.

Note, in either option we will notify Police of the proposed removal.

Illegal rubbish dumping

Illegal dumping of rubbish is covered by the Litter Act 1979

It is an offence to dump rubbish of any kind in public places, on the roadside or in parks and reserves. We will investigate anyone dumping rubbish and may take enforcement action.

If you see rubbish that has been dumped, or people dumping rubbish, please contact us so we can investigate. It is very helpful if you can provide details such as the date, time, location and vehicle registration number.

Rubbish in bags placed on the roadside for collection earlier than collection day or after collection day is also littering. People who do this will be investigated by Council and enforcement action may be taken.

Trees, shrubs, plants and vegetation

We are responsible for maintaining vegetation on Council owned land and in public places, parks and reserves.

Property owners are responsible for the upkeep of their own property and are responsible for any nuisance or damage that their vegetation causes to neighbouring properties.

We don’t get involved with disputes between neighbours, and suggest you talk openly to find a solution that works for both parties. For more information on your rights, contact Citizens Advice Bureau

Trees and shrubs over footpaths

Trees and shrubs overhanging footpaths come under the Local Government Act 1974

All overgrowth and shrubs must be trimmed back clear of the footpath edge, with a clearance of 2.1 metres of overhanging growth above the footpath for pedestrians and other footpath users.

If you have garden growth that is getting in the way of footpath users and doesn’t meet this criteria, we will send you a letter giving you one month to cut it back. If the overgrowth isn’t cut back within that time, a contractor will be engaged to complete the work at the owner's expense.

Removing fire hazards

Removing fire hazards is the responsibility of Fire and Emergency New Zealand. 

If there's a property in your neighbourhood that you believe presents a fire risk because of an unkempt section, you can let Fire and Emergency New Zealand know about your concern by completing the online form available on the overgrown sections page of its website, or calling 0800 336 942.

Please note that Fire and Emergency is only able to take action to deal with genuine fire hazards, and not where the property is just unsightly or presents a health hazard.

If you believe the property is a health hazard, please call our environmental health team on 06 356 8199.