Signs are an integral part of our environment and provide information, directions, locations and advertising of businesses or activities. Some level of control is appropriate to ensure that signs do not create clutter, dominate the environment or present a danger to public safety.
Signs are managed across the region under bylaws and district plan rules, with particular rules applying for certain types of signs. Auckland Council will continue to apply the existing policies and rules as they were adopted for each area by the previous councils.
To find information for your local area, please use the links below.
General information about signs
Signs are an integral part of our environment and provide information, directions, locations and advertising of businesses or activities. The controls around erecting and displaying of signs in the Auckland Central area is outlined in Bylaw No. 27 – Signs 2007.
Bylaw No. 27 contains general requirements that all signs must comply with, as well as rules that relate to specific zones, areas, or business types.
Important clauses for all signs include section 27.2 which lays out the general requirements and section 27.2.33 which covers building consents.
The following are some of the various signs that are covered by Bylaw 27:
Signs cannot be placed on or extend over a public place. Signs cannot be attached to poles, street furniture or other public utilities.
Application for dispensation
Dispensation application is required for signs that do not comply with any of the rules in the bylaw.
Signs Dispensation/Confirmation application form (48kb)
A $1500 deposit fee is required with all applications. Please refer to Appendix 1: Assessment Criteria for Assessing Dispensation Applications in Part 27B.
If you plan to erect a billboard, we advise that you first consult Bylaw No. 27B or seek professional advice about the regulations for billboards including:
- zoning - to find out the zone of your proposed site, refer to the District Plan.
- size, height and location.
- visual impact and standards of lighting
You are also welcome to contact us to discuss your proposal.
All billboards require building consent. Once you have determined that your proposed billboard complies with the council’s regulations, you will need to apply for a building consent.
If the billboard does not comply with any of the rules in Part 27B, then a dispensation application is required. See clause 27B.4 for information on the dispensation process.
When the billboard has been erected, inspected and the Code Compliance Certificate issued, you are then required to register the billboard.
Billboard registration and application fee
Bylaw 27B requires that all billboards must be registered. A Billboard Registration Form must be completed and forwarded to the Billboard Registrar with all required information and the required fee. All new registrations will incur a fee of $138 (GST inclusive). This fee may be required when you submit a building consent application for the billboard. If a fee is not charged at lodgement, you will be sent an invoice when your application is processed.
Billboard Registration Form (41kb)
Once registered, each billboard will be issued with a unique registration plate specific to that billboard, which must be displayed and visible to the public. This will allow an easy reference point for those wanting to make enquiries about a billboard, and will also allow council officers to confirm the legality of a billboard at a glance.
To register your billboard, please contact us.
Contact us if you have the following concerns about a billboard:
- being a danger to person or property
- posing traffic safety issues
- obstructing a road or footpath
- having structural issues
- having lighting issues.
Not-for-profit and fundraiser signs
In the first instance, we recommend using community notice boards to advertise events such as galas, fairs and other events held by not-for-profit groups. These boards are free to use and advance booking is required. See Community notice boards.
Not-for-profit organisations holding events can apply for a dispensation to place temporary signs on sites that have been approved by community boards. These are the same sites approved for election hoardings. For a list of approved sites, see Appendix 3: Auckland City Council Requirements for Election Signs.
Requirements for Election signs
Use the Signs dispensation/Confirmation form to apply for dispensation.
A dispensation will allow a sign to be placed on public property for up to 90 days. The maximum permitted size for a temporary sign is up to 3m in height above ground level and 1m2 in area. A copy of the dispensation must be attached to the back of the sign when it is erected.
Real estate signs
In residential zones, you can display one real estate sign per property with an area up to 1.5m2 and a height of up to 2m above ground level. The sign must be on the property for sale and can be displayed for up to three months, but not longer than seven days after the property is sold. Consult the bylaw section 22.214.171.124.
Residential properties with no road frontage can obtain sign approval to place a sign on public land outside the property. Certain conditions must be met for signs to be placed on the grass verge. These conditions are outlined below.
Location and position - the real estate sign:
- must be placed on the grass verge next to the access way leading to the propert.
- must be parallel to the road
- must not impede the view of traffic
- must be securely fixed in place.
Period of display - the real estate sign:
- may be displayed for up to three calendar months
- may not be displayed for more than seven days after the property is sold, rented, leased or is no longer available for sale, rental or lease.
Sign detail - the real estate sign:
- must clearly display the address of the property for sale
- must display the date of installation.
Sign dimensions - the real estate sign:
- must not exceed an area of 1.5m2
- must not be more than 2m above ground level.
Maintenance and damage - the sign owner:
- must maintain the grass verge immediately around the real estate sign
- must repair any damage to the verge to the satisfaction of council.
Council approval is deemed to be given for real estate signs complying with all of the conditions.
Even if there are multiple properties for sale down a single access way, there can only be a maximum of three signs on the grass verge but remember each property for sale is only allowed one sign.
Contact us if you have any questions.
Directional real estate signs for open homes may be displayed on the grass verge during the day of an open home or auction; one sign in front of the property for sale and one at the nearest street corner. These signs must comply with the provisions listed in section 126.96.36.199.
Real estate signs in business zones and mixed use zones are specific to zones and are outlined in section 188.8.131.52 of the bylaw.
Requirements for signs in business, mixed use zones and the central area
Apart from the specific signage rules above, there are general rules for these areas. Signs in these zones are only permitted if they comply with the rules. Council permission is required for any sign that is within 30m of residential zoned land. The rules are outlined in Bylaw No. 27.
Where a proposed sign does not comply with any rule in Part 27, a sign dispensation application is required. Use the Signs dispensation/Confirmation form to apply for dispensation.
See clause 27.2.4 Dispensations and Appendix 1; Criteria for the assessment of signs requiring a dispensation from the SignsBylaw - Part 27.
There are specific provisions to protect the character of selected traditional town centres. These are called special character areas and each has its own centre plan or character overlay. This helps ensure that identified character and broad heritage features are retained and that ongoing development recognises and respects these qualities. In special character areas, sandwich boards, freestanding signs and signs above verandah level (or above 3m if there is no verandah) are not permitted. New signs in these areas require a resource consent.
Character overlay areas are:
- Grey Lynn (Surrey Crescent).
- West Lynn (Richmond Road).
- Eden Valley (Dominion Road and Valley Road).
- Upper Symonds Street.
- Balmoral town centre.
- Sandringham town centre.
Centre plan areas are:
- St Heliers village
- Mt Eden village
- Parnell village
- Ponsonby Road
Signs in the Hauraki Gulf Islands - section 27/11.
Precincts in the central area
These clauses relate to signs in precincts in the District Plan. Consult the District Plan - central area section.
- Residential precincts
Only one sign per road frontage per residential building is permitted in a residential precinct. Signs may not exceed an area of 1m2 or a height above ground level of 4m.
- Public open space 1 or 2 precincts
Signs may only provide information as to clubs, businesses, services or events available on the grounds and are limited to one sign per road frontage. Signs may not exceed an area of 1m2 or a height of 3m.
- Port precinct
The requirements for signs in the port precinct are the same as for signs in maritime areas. Consult clause 27.7.
- Tertiary education precinct in the central areaA sign in this precinct must only advertise a lawful use of the site or products and services available on the site. It may not exceed an area of 2m2 or a height above ground level of 4m.
Consult the signs bylaw. This bylaw regulates and places restrictions on the placement, construction and maintenance of signs in the Franklin District, particularly (but not only) on public property. Signs on private property are largely controlled by the District Plan. Compliance with this bylaw does not remove the need to comply with any other relevant legislation, District Plan provisions, Regional Plans and Regional Policy Statements.
Consult the signs bylaw. You may require a building consent and a resource consent depending on the scope of your project. Their size and placement is controlled under the District Plan.
- You may erect a single sign not exceeding 1.8m in height and 0.6m2 in area to identify a permitted activity.
- You may erect a single or composite sign not exceeding 2.4m in height and 1.2m2 in area to identify other activities, for which you have a resource consent.
- Your sign may also require a building consent, depending on its size and design.
- Utility operators’ approval may be required before installation.
Consult the Temporary Signs bylaw; this covers rules regarding temporary signs such as for advertising community, cultural or sporting events. If you wish to erect a sign for a community event in the council designated signage areas, please contact us.
Any temporary signs not complying with any provision in that bylaw requires a dispensation. Please contact us for more information. A fee may be involved.
The District Plan covers the rules around permanent signs such as for business premises. Consult the District Plan - chapter 16 - General Rules. If signs breach the District Plan rules, a resource consent will need to be applied for.
To claim back a sign that has been impounded by the council, please contact us. There is a $97.10 charge.
Consult the District Plan for rules on signs.