Roadside Maintenance and Use

There are thousands of kms of roads and roadsides.and the following information will help residents understand how roadsides in rural areas need to be managed to keep everyone safe.

Council are currently consulting with the public about the draft Roads Reserve Management Policy so this information is subject to change.

Keeping it Clear

Trees and hedges planted in the roadside can cause problems for road users.

They can shade the road in winter making it icy, obstruct the views of motorists at intersections, and be somewhat unforgiving if a vehicle ends up running into them.

That's why we ask that you contact us for approval before undertaking any planting. Legally we can ask that roadside trees, including those inside property boundaries,be pruned or removed to safeguard road users.

If you are driving stock, you are responsible for the safety of both the animals and other road users. There are some restrictions on moving stock along the road or roadside.

Anyone who notices unattended stock wandering on the road is asked to phone Customer Services on 0800 965 468, who will refer the matter to Council's Animal Management Team

Please ensure you dispose of all rubbish, including grass clippings and animal manure, properly. Littering the roadsides is not only unsightly but it can cause a health nuisance and may also be a danger to other road users.

If you see someone dumping rubbish on the roadside, please pass on any details including a description of the car and its registration number to our Customer Services Team.

Stock & Fencing

In some cases, we will allow parts of the roadside to be fenced off temporarily for the grazing of stock such as goats and deer, BUT NOT horses, which must be tethered so they cannot enter the carriageway.

The stock and the safety of road users remains the responsibility of the stock owner. If an animal escapes the owner is liable for any damage. Our Customer Services Staff can advise roads where grazing is NOT allowed.

Any fence must be of a temporary nature using removable fibreglass, plastic or light metal. Waratahs and wire-mesh fences are NOT allowed as they can cause injury to road users.

Temporary fences must not extend along the road beyond your boundary unless you have the permission of the neighbouring property owner. Fence standards must be set back at least one metre from the edge of the carriageway, and more on busier roads.

Most major roads are mowed under a Council contract for about a 1.8 metre width against the edge of the seal, and to the boundary fences 50 metres from intersections. This is done in the interests of safety.

The Council does not mow the roadsides of unsealed roads - it's up to the property owners to mow their own property frontage.

  • Adjacent property owners - please control noxious plants and other weeds on the roadside.
  • If roadside vegetation is sprayed the area must be re-sown immediately.
  • The grassed area at the side of the road is vital for road safety - it supports the seal, eliminates mud and suppresses dust.
  • Don't landscape with rocks, timber or ornamental planting without the Council's consent.

You need to get a road opening or "trenching" permit from the Council before cables or pipes can be laid in a road or road reserve. In most cases your contractor will apply for the permit on your behalf. A Traffic Management Plan must be provided with your permit application.

Anyone digging or excavating the roadside should be aware of underground services in the area they are working. If the underground services are damaged you are responsible for the cost of repair.

No structures can be erected on the roadside. This includes permanent fencing, feature letterboxes, stone walls and feature entrance- ways.

It is an offence to store materials on the side of the road without the permission of the Council. This includes timber, containers, old vehicles and bricks. These can be a danger to motorists if cars leave the road.

Last reviewed date: 03 Aug 2023