Information about specific planning requirements if you are wanting to work from home.

District Plan rules

A home occupation is any occupation, including a profession, undertaken within a residential unit by a person who lives permanently within that residential unit. Home occupations are intended to be secondary in scale to the residential use of the site. 

Home occupations are permitted in all residential zones other than Residential Central City provided that the following standards are met:

  • The gross floor area of the building, plus the area used for the outdoor storage area, occupied by the home occupation must be less than 40m².
  • A maximum of two full-time equivalent people who don't live on the site can be also employed in the home occupation.
  • The only retailing permitted is the sale of goods grown or produced on the site, or internet-based sales where no customer visits occur.
  • The site can only be open to visitors, clients, and deliveries between the hours of: 
    • 7.00am to 9.00pm Monday to Friday; and 
    • 8.00am to 7.00pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. 
  • Visitor or staff parking areas must not be in the road boundary setback (the area between the front of the building and the road).
  • Signs must have a maximum area of 2m², except that on sites with frontage to Memorial Avenue or Fendalton Road no signage is permitted at all. 

In the Residential Central City zone, any non-residential activity that is not already provided for under other rules is permitted, if it meets the following standards:

  • Maximum gross floor area of 40m²  (including any area of outdoor storage).
  • Only people who live permanently on the site can be employed in the activity.
  • The site can only be open to visitors, clients or deliveries for the activity, other than for guest accommodation, for a maximum of 40 hours per week, between the hours of: 
    • 7.00am to 9.00pm Monday to Friday, and 
    • 8.00am to 7.00pm Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays.
  • The maximum number of vehicle movements per site, other than for residential activities, is: 
    • heavy vehicles: two per week 
    • other vehicles: 16 per day.

If any of the above standards cannot be met, a resource consent is required for the home occupation. The application must address the effects resulting from scale of the activity, traffic generation, access safety and hours of operation, depending on which particular standards are not met. 

Parking requirements

Home occupations also need to comply with the transport requirements of the District Plan where the home occupation is more than 10% of the gross floor area of the residential activity. The parking space requirement will be a combination of that required for the residential activity (1 car parking space if the house is smaller than 150m2, 2 spaces if it is 150m2 or larger, plus 1 cycle park for any residential unit without a garage) plus that required for the home occupation. 

Examples of the car parking requirements for typical activities undertaken as home occupations: 

Type of home occupation Visitor requirement Staff requirement
Commercial service 

Car parking: 4 spaces per 100m2 gross leasable floor area

Cycle parking: 1 space per 500m2 gross floor area

Car parking: 0.5 spaces per 100m2 gross leasable floor area

Cycle parking: 1 space per 200m2 gross floor area
Office

Car parking: 5% of the staff requirement, with a minimum of 1 space

Cycle parking: 20% of the staff requirement (minimum 2 spaces) outside the Central City; 1 space per 500m2 gross floor area within the Central City

Car parking: 2.5 spaces per 100m2 gross floor area

Cycle parking: 1 space per 150m2 gross floor area

 Note:

  • Where car parking spaces are provided for the home occupation there must be one mobility parking space provided. On private property this can be used by any person, but must be marked out and meet the dimensions for a mobility space.
  • Any calculation of fractional spaces of 0.5 or higher must be rounded up to the nearest space.
  • There are additional requirements around the design of parking spaces, access, etc. For more information please email our Duty Planner

Where the required car or cycle parking is not provided, a resource consent will be required so that the effects of the shortfall can be assessed. 

Other work from home activities

The District Plan also allows the following other work from home activities in Residential zones:

  • Care of non-resident children within a residential unit in return for monetary payment to the carer, provided that a maximum of four non-resident children are being cared for at any one time and at least one carer lives permanently within the residential unit. 
  • Bed and breakfast where a maximum of six guests are accommodated at any one time; at least one owner of the residential unit lives permanently on site; and no guests are given accommodation for more than 90 consecutive days. This activity cannot include the sale of alcohol. 

If the above standards cannot be met, a resource consent is required. 

If you have any questions or would like further information please email our Duty Planner.

Please also refer to the Change of use page for information on building requirements where part of a building's use changes.  Contact our Duty Building Consent Officer for more information on Building Act requirements.