Your rights and responsibilities if you are wanting to build a deck or fence on your property.
If the deck is attached to the dwelling in a Residential Suburban, Residential Suburban Density Transition, Residential Hills or Residential Large Lot zone, and is at ground floor level or below, it can be constructed right up to the internal property boundary as long as any parts within one metre of the boundary are 300 millimetres or less in height.
If the site is within the Residential Banks Peninsula, it must be setback either two metres or 1.5 metres from the internal boundary involved. In the Residential Small Settlement zone the deck must be setback three metres, or two metres in the Spencerville and Kainga overlay areas. In all zones, a larger front yard setback is required.
If the deck is at first floor level or above, it must be set back at least four metres from internal boundaries in most Residential zones and certain distances from road boundaries (depending upon District Plan zone requirements).
The deck must comply with site coverage (if higher than 800 millimetres or covered/roofed), height and recession plane requirements applicable to the zone.
If you are wanting to build a fence it is wise to plan carefully so that your fence adds to your property rather than detracting from it.
The Fencing Act 1978 sets out rights and responsibilities relating to fences between neighbouring properties. You can find out more information from the Consumer Building website(external link).
If the fence you are wanting to build is a boundary fence between your property and a Council-owned park or waterway, the Council will generally share the cost of this. Please contact the Council on (03) 941 8999 to discuss it before commencing any work.
There are two issues you will need to contact the Council about when you are considering building a boundary fence, as there may be a need to apply for a resource consent as well as a building consent:
The fence is required to comply with the building code even if a building consent is not required. Most retailers of fencing materials should be able to assist with standard residential fence design.
The Council Public Places Bylaw 2008 states that barbed wire, razor wire or electrified wire may not be used within one metre of any property boundary adjoining any public place, unless the wire is at a height of 2.5 metres or more above ground level, or the public place is in a rural area. Internal boundary fences are covered by the Fencing Act 1978.
If the height of the fence is over 2.5 metres, resource consent is likely to be required. Therefore it is recommended that you contact the the Duty Planner on 941 8999 if your proposed fence is over this height.
The Council has no jurisdiction over disputes relating to boundary fences, unless the fence is dangerous. Legal rights and obligations relating to fences are covered by the Fencing Act 1978(external link). If you have a dispute with a neighbour about a fence which you cannot resolve through negotiation (through fencing notices) you can take the matter to the Disputes Tribunal, the District Court or alternatively to a mediation service.
The only occasions when the Council may be involved in fencing issues is when a fence requires a building consent or resource consent (this is likely to also require written approval of the affected neighbour), or if the fence is located on a boundary adjoining Council land.