March 2023 - Bylaw and policy reviews

The feedback period for this early engagement has now ended. Thank you to everyone who shared their views. It was great to see the level of interest with 76 responses spread across these topics.

Your opinions have helped form our draft policy documents and we are now starting formal public consultation on the four policies.

You have an opportunity to make a submission via this link from 13th July. 

Please note that the two bylaws will go out for formal public consultation at a later date.


Bylaws and policies review

Our bylaws and policies are scheduled to be reviewed periodically, typically at least every five to ten years.

We carry out these reviews to ensure these documents are still necessary to address the associated issues, remain fit for purpose, and continue to meet our legal obligations.

We want to ensure our communities are given sufficient opportunity to provide their input into these topics throughout the review process to help us better understand:

  • if the issues remain the same or have changed
  • whether current solutions are effective - do they work?
  • potential new solutions
  • whether your views have changed.

This is not a formal public consultation - while we intend to undertake formal public consultation on the topics listed below within the next 12 months, this page is for you to share early thoughts and opinions and help shape our approach.

What are we reviewing?

Below are the bylaws and policies which are currently scheduled for review. We have provided a brief description of each topic and a link to the current bylaw or policy.

We have been collecting thoughts and opinions up until 10 March and  wiil be publishing a summary on this page after review. So please keep checking this page for future developments.  

If you want to be kept in the loop on future updates around these topics please let us know and become part of our people's panel.  

Roading Bylaw

The purpose of the Southland District Council Roading Bylaw and Roading Policy is to define the role of Council for one of the largest and most diverse roading networks within New Zealand.  

The Roading Bylaw controls activities that are a nuisance to the general public in use of or within the roading environment. The Roading Policy gives effect to the bylaw and more broadly commits us to provide a quality roading network and infrastructure to serve Southland communities in a responsive and affordable manner.  

Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Policy

In addition to the rules set by the Civil Aviation Authority, the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Policy gives Council the ability to approve or decline use of UAVs over land it owns or operates. 

While we generally seek to enable UAV usage, the policy sets out the criteria where written approval might need to be sought in areas assessed as restricted such as over sports fields or swimming pools. 

While there are currently no areas assessed as prohibited, the policy also allows Council to identify any areas where UAV use may be prohibited in all instances.  Find out more about the key issues.

Dangerous, Affected and Insanitary Buildings Policy

The Dangerous, Affected and Insanitary Buildings Policy allows Council to identify and manage dangerous, affected, and insanitary buildings in the District so that people who use buildings can do so safely and without endangering their health.

The policy sets out Council’s responsibilities under the Building Act 2004 and ensures that when dangerous or affected buildings are identified, the danger is appropriately reduced. Similarly, if insanitary conditions are found, appropriate and timely measures are undertaken to remedy this.

Draft Public Places Bylaw

Council currently has in place a number of bylaws and policies to regulate issues in public places. To create review efficiencies and a more user-friendly public document, an omnibus public places bylaw is being developed. The proposed omnibus bylaw will incorporate content from the bylaws and policy listed below along with any other regulations considered necessary and appropriate after formal consultation with the community. The existing bylaws and policy below are proposed to be revoked following the consultation process:

  • the Trading in Public Places Bylaw regulates the conduct of persons selling goods in public places. There is also a list associated with the bylaw of ‘approved trading sites’, that outlines the physical sites where people can trade
  • the Alfresco Dining Policy requires licenses to be held for, and regulates, dining furniture outside food premises. Te Anau currently has most of the District’s licensed premises, followed by Riverton and Winton.
  • the purpose of the Signs and Objects on Roads and Footpaths Bylaw is to ensure the health and safety of people in the District by regulating, controlling, and/or prohibiting the placement of signs or objects on roads and footpaths.

Easter Sunday Shop Trading Policy

The Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 (the Act) was amended in 2016 to enable Councils to adopt a local easter Sunday shop trading policy. This policy can allow shops to open on Easter Sunday and can relate to the whole of the district or parts of the district. However, it cannot specify the shop purpose, type, opening hours or any other conditions.

Council's existing policy was adopted in 2017 and allows all shops in the Southland District to open on Easter Sunday if they choose to. This policy is set for review as it is 5 years from adoption.

Without a council policy, only certain shops can remain open under the Act under certain conditions, these include garden centres, service stations, food takeaways, restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, pharmacies and dairies.

Smoke-free Open Spaces Policy

Our existing Smoke-free Open Spaces Policy was approved in 2014 and aims to discourage smoking in public outdoor areas where people, particularly children and young people gather. This policy is not enforceable so is not a ban on smoking but serves as an educational tool. The objectives are to promote a smoke-free lifestyle, reduce the uptake of smoking by children and young people, and support the government's goal for a smoke-free New Zealand by 2025.

The primary focus is playgrounds, skate parks and sports fields where signage and awareness initiatives are implemented (type 1 areas). The secondary focus is gardens, parks, reserves, cemeteries, roads, streets and footpaths where signage may be put in place (type 2 areas).

The recent Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 required all regulated products, such as vaping and heated tobacco products, to be included in Smokefree legislation. As a result, we are reviewing the existing policy to consider smoking and vaping in our open spaces.