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Last reviewed: Tue, 06 Aug 2013

Frequently asked questions

What are rubbish free parks?

Rubbish free parks are parks where no rubbish bins are provided. The aim is to make these large parks litter-free for everyone's enjoyment and to encourage recycling and waste reduction by asking park visitors to take their picnic rubbish home and recycle as much as possible.

This way, there is less wastage of resources, a reduction of waste to landfill, and our regional parks stay clean and attractive.

The following nine regional parks are affected:

  • Bottle Lake Forest Park
  • Halswell Quarry Park
  • Port Hills reserves
  • Seafield Park
  • Spencer Park
  • Styx Mill Conservation Reserve
  • Taylors Mistake
  • The Groynes
  • Travis Wetland

Where can I have a picnic and can I book a picnic site?

Picnics are permitted in any of the Christchurch City Council's parks and green spaces.

Parks and BBQs are free to use for everybody, however if you would like to book an area of a park for a picnic, wedding ceremony or other recreational activity, this can be done by phoning our bookings line on (03) 941 8888 or phone free 0800 800 169 for Banks Peninsula residents.

There is a charge for booking a space although it is not compulsory to book an area, groups can just turn up and use the park/reserve casually. People will need to be aware that groups may have booked and paid for a space and that they have first priority. This ensures that the area is not being used by another group booking, that the area is clean and tidy and contractors will not be carrying out maintenance work.

Some popular spots for large groups include:

  • The Groynes
  • Halswell Quarry Park
  • South Brighton Domain
  • Spencer Park
  • Styx Mill Reserve.

Other information:

  • No bookings will be taken for Christmas Day.
  • BBQs can be taken along to parks (except Botanic Gardens) as long as they are gas operated. BBQs on site are free.
  • Any person or group using any reserve will be required to remove any litter from the site or place in litter bins.

What information is needed when I book a park or reserve?

  • Will there be any amplified sound?
  • Will food be sold? (with the exception of sausage sizzle). If so, you must ensure all food vendors have current registrations which are available from the Enforcement Team at the time of your event.
  • Will there be any amusement devices? For example a ferris wheel, merry-go-round, noddy train or anything with moveable parts). If so, public liability insurance will be required.
  • Is there a need to erect any staging? If so, you may require building consent.
  • Is a marquee (larger than 50 metres square or up for more than 30 days) going to be erected? Again, building consent may be required.
  • Will any part of your event be on the road, or restricting vehicle or pedestrian access? If so, a traffic management plan will be required.
  • Is the public invited? (if yes, public liability insurance and a health and safety plan will be needed).
  • Will there be alcohol? Are you selling or are you within the liquor ban area? If so, you will require a liquor licence.
  • Will power or water be required?
  • Is this booking for parking only?
  • Is your booking in Cathedral Square or any other area of the Central City?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will need to fill in an Events Application Form when you book. Contact the bookings line on (03) 941 8888 or phone free 0800 800 169 for Banks Peninsula residents.

Which Christchurch parks, gardens or beaches are available for weddings?

You can book any Council park, reserve or beach in Christchurch for a wedding ceremony or wedding photos. Fees apply for wedding ceremonies except: Banks Peninsula, coastal areas (beaches) and wharves (including the Pier) because exclusive use is not practical.

Depending on the nature of your activity on the park, further approval may be required. Contact the Customer Call Centre if you would like to make a booking for all Council parks and gardens, with the exception of the Botanic Gardens and Mona Vale.

Botanic Gardens and Mona Vale Bookings
You must make a booking for the Botanic Gardens or Mona Vale to ensure you will have access to the area for a wedding ceremony or wedding photographs. Wedding bookings in the Botanic Gardens or Mona Vale have a three hour time limit due to parking limits. Contact the Botanic Gardens Information Centre on (03) 941-7590 or email  if you would like to make a booking.
Botanic Gardens Wedding Locations Map

Banks Peninsula
You can use any of the Council parks, beaches and wharves on the Banks Peninsula for a wedding. The Council does not take bookings for these areas, but would prefer to be notified of any planned events. There is no fee for using these places for a wedding.

Please be aware that parks, beaches and wharves on the Banks Peninsula are public open spaces and therefore other members of the public cannot be excluded from these areas during your wedding.

How do we go about booking the Christchurch A & P show grounds at Wigram?

Canterbury Agricultural Park is now administered by the Christchurch City Council and can be booked through the Bookings line on (03) 941 8888 or phone free on 0800 800169 for Banks Peninsula residents. Normal booking fees apply

No music events or motor sport events are permitted due to noise restrictions.


Who looks after birds in Christchurch City?

Game birds are managed by Fish and Game – these include:

  • Black swans
  • Canada geese
  • Grey ducks
  • Mallard ducks
  • Paradise ducks
  • New Zealand shoveler (a duck)
  • Pheasant
  • Pukeko
  • Quail
  • Partridge chukar.

Contact Fish and Game on, phone (03) 366-9191 or email .

All other native birds including mute swan are managed by Department of Conservation (DOC).

Partially protected
Protected except when any injury or damage to any land or property has occurred, and then the owner may hunt or kill them:

  • Harrier Hawk
  • Little Owl
  • Black Shag
  • Silver Eyes

Not protected
Most introduced species including:

  • Black-backed gull
  • Feral rock pigeon
  • Spotted dove
  • Barbary dove
  • Sulphur-crested cockatoo
  • Galah
  • Eastern rosella
  • Crimson rosella
  • Feral peafowl
  • Heleted guinea fowl
  • Blackbird
  • Song thrush
  • Dunnock
  • Skylark
  • House
  • Sparrow
  • Chaffinch
  • Redpoll
  • Greenfinch
  • Goldfinch
  • Yellowhammer
  • Cirl bunting
  • Starling
  • Common myna
  • Magpie
  • Rook
  • Greylag – feral.

Contact DOC on (03) 379 9758 .

For sick or injured birds contact the Ferry Road Animal and Bird Hospital on, phone (03) 389 9034 . Address is 443 Ferry Road. For native birds contact Jackie Stevenson on (03) 383 1488 .

Rangers are able to investigate magpies on Council land and action with agreement from other agencies.

Rangers may be able to assist with problem pukeko, paradise shelduck and shoveler on private land – giving information and advice, and discussing with Fish and Game to suggest solutions.

The Council has published a brochure entitled 'Attracting native bush birds back to Christchurch' which provides information on plants that attract native birds into the garden. This brochure is available at the Aotearoa New Zealand Centre of the Christchurch City Libraries.

Will the Council pay towards a boundary fence between a park or waterway and my property?

The Council will generally pay a half share towards a new or replacement boundary fence between private property and a Christchurch City Council owned park, reserve or waterway. The Council will also contribute to the removal of an old fence.

The Council will pay half the cost or up to $26.25 per metre (GST inclusive) for a standard 1.8 metre high paling fence whichever is lower. However, the Council prefers see through or open style fencing and are willing to pay a little extra towards this safer style of fencing. The Council may pay up to $90.00 per linear metre half share. This will need to be pre-approved.

The Council will not meet the cost of staining a fence, installation of pedestrian gates and fences built using second hand materials. Barbed wire or non-permanent materials such as brushwood are also not permitted.

The Council will likewise not contribute to boundary fences built on waterway easements and road reserves unless they are part of the park entrance.

You will need to organise the construction of the fence and then send the Council:

Send all of the above to:

Business Support
City Environment Group
Christchurch City Council
PO Box 73014
Christchurch 8154

A site inspection by the Council’s Area Contracts Manager is required to confirm compliance of the boundary fence according to the Council’s standards and to determine the rates to be applied for the reimbursement.

Where can I read the management plans for the parks?

There are operative management plans and masterplans for many of Christchurch City Council's larger parks.

The more recent ones can be viewed on the website:

Can I light fireworks in my local park?

You must seek permission to light fireworks in a Council owned park or land. You can start this process by contacting the Customer Call Centre on (03) 941 8888 or phone free 0800 800 169 for Banks Peninsula residents. For organised fireworks events you will need be an approved fireworks handler and also apply for a Fireworks Test Certificate. This is done through the Environment Risk Management Authority and you can find out more information on the Environmental Protection Authority website. 

Authorising Unit: Transport and Greenspace

Last reviewed: Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Next review: Thursday, 6 February 2014

Keywords: parks, walkways

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