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Livestock on the road
Livestock policies, bylaws and permits
Livestock underpasses
Fees and fines

Livestock on the road

Wandering livestock can pose a significant hazard on our roads and they have caused fatal accidents in our district. If you see livestock loose or lying on our district's roads, call us immediately. Our animal control staff are available 24 hours a day - call our freephone 0800 492 452 or check out how to report a dog or animal issue.

Note that the NZ Transport Agency should be contacted for any incidents of stock wandering on state highways. Call their freephone 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)

Again, for local roads and for highways, if the situation poses an immediate threat to people's lives or safety, you can also contact the Police to report the situation (or dial *555 from a mobile phone). 

Impounding, fines and retrieval

Note - if you own straying stock which damage the roads or its roadsides - or if they contribute to an accident on the road, you will be liable for the costs associated with repairing any damage - and you may face criminal charges. Your stock could also be impounded - see stock control for more information. If you need to claim back impounded stock, use our application to release impounded stock form.

Managing livestock around roads

Keep your stock away from roads - find out below about constructing a livestock underpass

Find out what the fencing requirements are when grazing livestock on roadside boundaries.

Get a livestock permit below. If you can't install an underpass and you have to move your livestock across or along a road - you'll need one of these.

Livestock policies, bylaws and permits

Policies and bylaws

Our Stock Movement Bylaw 2011 outlines the different types of permits, conversion of existing crossings to underpasses, responsibilities when stock damage road surfaces, why a permit might be taken away or suspended and relevant offences and penalties in relation to this Bylaw.

Our Livestock Movement Policy (which is contained with the Bylaw above) aims to:

  • ensure stock movement doesn't impact on road safety for all road users
  • prevent roads being used as stock races
  • minimise the impact of livestock movement and excrement on the road's surface and the surrounding environment
  • where possible, reduce the number of road-level stock crossings.

As part of these aims, the Council plans to phase out most existing road-level stock crossings by 2018 and have them replaced with stock underpasses (see below for details).

  • In urban areas or roads which have more than 2,000 vehicles a day, moving stock is prohibited completely and no permits will be issued. 
  • On unsealed roads, non-dairy livestock can be moved without a permit subject to certain conditions.

All other stock movement will need some kind of permit so you can meet strict safety standards when moving stock. These permits are monitored regularly. Find out more about permits below.

Bylaw breaches

If you are granted a permit and you breach it, we'll work with you to sort the problem out and help you understand the bylaw, what you need to do and why it is important. We can also revoke or suspend your permit. Prosecution is our last resort for extreme cases, including repeated breaches. If this happens, you could be fined up to $20,000.

General road safety and environmental protection

Regardless of whether you need a permit to move your livestock, you'll still need to make sure your have certain safety measures in place when moving stock, including warning signs and flashing amber lights. Dayglo/fluorescent safety vests should also be worn by anyone in charge of the livestock during the move. You are also expected to minimise the impact of stock movements on the road surface and avoid leaving excess muck from the animals on the road once they've crossed over.

Permits and traffic management plans

There are two types of permits - a Livestock Crossing Permit and a Livestock Moving Permit.

  • You'll need a Livestock Crossing Permit if you're taking dairy livestock directly across the road regularly - regardless of whether the road is sealed or not. 
  • If you're doing this infrequently, you'll need a Livestock Moving Permit to cover these occasions. 
  • You'll also need a Livestock Moving Permit if you're moving any kind of livestock some distance along the road in droves from one part of the farm to another. This will include creating a traffic management plan as part of the permit's conditions. Our Council staff can work with you to design your plan as part of the permit process. 
  • Find out more about traffic management plans in road closures, corridor access and traffic management requests

These permits are free and they are usually issued for between 1 to 5 years, after which they are re-evaluated if you need to extend them further.

In some cases a permit will be a temporary measure until you can get a stock underpass built. 

Get a Livestock Crossing Permit or a Livestock Moving Permit - you'll find them listed under 'roading' on our forms page. 

Livestock underpasses

A livestock underpass is a tunnel constructed below a road which allows stock to cross underneath it without obstructing traffic or other road users above. Our Council is very keen to see stock underpasses installed wherever stock need to cross regularly, to improve road safety and protect the road surface from these animals' hooves. Underpasses also help to minimise environmental issues such as stock excrement either on the road or running off it into the soil and our waterways.

We'll help pay

As mentioned, to encourage the phasing out of most existing road-level stock crossings by 2018, we're offering a subsidy of up to 25 per cent of the total cost if you install an underpass for a stock road crossing in relation to your farm. How much of this you get will depend on how many vehicles use that stretch of road (based on an average daily traffic count or ADT). An ADT of 500 or more is eligible for a 25 per cent subsidy, while an ADT of 200 will receive a 10 per cent subsidy.

Call us on our freephone 0800 492 452 to discuss this, email us or request a service to find out more.

As the property owner, you're responsible for the design and installation of any underpass connecting your land under the road. However, we can provide you with the names and contact details of suitable underpass contractors if you'd like us to. 

Once installed, the underpass remains part of your property even though it will be included in the road reserve area. You'll also need to provide a 'Memorandum of Encumbrance', which records the covenants you've entered into in the Council’s favour. This memorandum will then need to be registered against your property's Record of Title (formerly known as Certificate of Title).

These and other conditions are described more fully in the documents below.

Fees and fines

Find out more about our fees and fines in relation to livestock issues and managing livestock through permits and underpass construction. See the fees and charges schedule under 'stock control'.



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