Sign up to the rules

Published on 24 August 2023


Property owners are being warned to check regulations before erecting roadside signs that could breach Far North District Council District Plan and bylaw rules.

The council is receiving an increasing number of complaints about signage, including from a local community group. 

While the council acknowledges signs are an important communication tool, the District Plan states the number, size, location, and visual prominence needs to be balanced against the potential impact on infrastructure, health, and safety. 

Many landowners seem unaware of the rules or that the council has an advertising sign application form that must be completed before signs are erected on council land. The District Plan rules apply to permanent and some temporary signage on non-council-owned land, while the council’s Road Use Bylaw manages signage located on council-owned land. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency manages signs along state highways.

Owners should check the regulations and be mindful of their signs’ positive and negative impacts. 

Council has recently directed people to remove signs. Those include a business advertisement sign on council land that was erected without seeking approval, multiple signs on one section of private land, all of which are in breach of District Plan rules and a real estate sign at a junction that is a potential danger to road users.

Annika Dickey, Chair of Our Kerikeri Community Charitable Trust, emphasised the importance of landowners and businesses understanding the regulations.

“Some individuals assume they can place any sign anywhere, while others think there are no repercussions for non-compliance, even if they know the regulations,” she says. “This mindset, combined with unchecked signage installations, leads to a domino effect where more and more signs are being put up.

“Unregulated signage is not just an issue of aesthetics; it’s a matter of urban wellbeing. As our town evolves, the need for clear communication channels between businesses and consumers will always exist. However, this must be balanced with preserving our town’s character, safety, and public spaces.”

To download the advertising sign application form, click here, for further information go to the District Plan signage provisions and the Road Use Bylaw Schedule.

Photo: An example of why the council has sign regulations to prevent this scenario.


Last updated 24 August 2023