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Summary of rules that apply to election signs

The elections sign rules are set in the new Auckland Transport and Auckland Council Signs Bylaw 2022.

​Changes to election sign sites - July 2022

Auckland Transport has recently removed some sites from the list of approved election sign sites. This can happen when a site on the list is no longer appropriate for election signs – for example, a site on a park may now have a playground on it.

Check the updated list of approved election sign sites on the Auckland Transport website.

Rules for placement of election signs permitted under Signs Bylaw clause 17

Under the Local Electoral Act 2001, a sign must include an authorising statement with the details of the person authorising the sign. This may be the same person as the contact person for the sign that is required under this bylaw.

Clause 17 permits election signs that are not otherwise permitted as signs.

Clause 17 does not apply to billboards, for example, which have their own rules.

Where election signs can be displayed

There are three types of sites for election signs:

  • not controlled by the council (for example, private property)
  • controlled by the council (for example, a designated site on a road or park)
  • a moving or stationary vehicle or trailer.

Rules for all election signs

All election signs must:

  • only be displayed within the nine-week period before election day
  • display the name and contact details (including the phone number) of the person responsible for installing, maintaining and removing the sign - these must be readable from a distance of 1m to enable easy contact by council staff who may be responding to a query about the sign
  • comply with any rules in the bylaw that apply to all signs contained in clauses 19 to 29
  • be removed before midnight on the day before election day (8 October 2022)
  • have a maximum size of display area of 3m² for each panel
  • not be illuminated internally or externally by artificial lighting
  • not include any changeable message (for example, any mechanical or electronic moving images or displays)
  • not include any moveable part or light that is intended to draw attention to the sign
  • have any alterations or additions securely fixed within the area of the sign (for example, posters, pamphlets, flags or other material attached to a sign).

You should know

The nine-week period before election day commences on Saturday 6 August 2022 (at 12.01 am).

The time period for putting up election signs on parks that are managed by local boards may vary.

For approved sites on parks which:

  • are not in the Ōrākei Local Board area, the time period is nine weeks before election day
  • are in the Ōrākei Local Board area, the time period is four weeks before election day.

Rules for an election sign on a site not controlled by the council (e.g. private property)

Infographic showing the minimum and maximum areas for an election sign on non council land.  

These rules also apply in addition to the rules already outlined on this page:

  • The sign must be directed at the roadway (for example, it must not be on a boundary fence with a park facing into the park).
  • If the sign is attached to a fence (for example, on a front boundary and facing the roadway) must be flat wall-mounted and have a depth of (project) no more than 0.03m (30mm).

You should know

You must have permission from the property occupier and / or owner to display an election sign on private property.

Rules for an election sign on a site controlled by the council (e.g. a road or park)

Infographic showing the rules for the front and side view of an election sign and for a 'V' shaped sign.

These rules apply in addition to the rules that apply to all election signs:

How many signs you can have

A candidate may display:

  • one sign promoting themselves alone for each elected position they are running for (for example, a candidate running for two positions can have two signs)
  • one sign promoting their association with another candidate or candidates as a team or party (for example, two candidates can have one sign each promoting themselves alone and one other sign promoting both candidates as a team or party)
  • a party in a general election may display one sign promoting their party.

Type of signs allowed

  • Signs must be free-standing and not attached to any other structure (such as a sign, building, tree, bus shelter, street furniture, traffic control device, power, light or telephone pole).

Structure of signs

  • Election signs may consist of a single-sided panel, double-sided panel, or two panels displayed back-to-back.
  • On locations specified under clause 30, some signs may be V-shaped. They may consist of a single sign consisting of two panels (or four if back-to-back) attached at one edge to the same post and with a maximum distance of 2m between the opposite edges at the widest point of the ‘V’).

Rules on sign size

  • The maximum sign height above ground level is 3m.
  • The minimum height of the billboard is 0.5m (500mm).
  • Must have a display area of at least 0.25m² (A2 paper size).

Sign placement

  • Must not be placed directly under any part of a tree.
  • Must be at least 0.5m away from a footpath, cycle path or vehicle crossing.
  • Must comply with the distance from kerb face rules in clause 24 (see the summary of the rules applying to all signs).

What to do after signs are removed

The location of the sign (for example, the ground) must be restored to the condition it was in before the sign was displayed at the time the sign is removed.

Other rules

Must comply at all times with any conditions specified in the table of approved locations.

Rules for an election sign on a moving or stationary vehicle or trailer

Infographic showing the maximum area a sign can be on a moving or stationary vehicle or trailer.

An election sign on a moving or stationary vehicle or trailer, in addition to rules applying to all election signs:

  • must not remain parked on a road for more than four hours a day (for example a trailer sign may be lawfully parked on Dominion Road for three hours and then moved to a lawful parking spot on Sandringham Road)
  • must follow the rules for the displaying of signs on vehicles in clause 18 of the bylaw which includes that signs must not stick out from the vehicle when on a council-controlled public place in a way that creates a safety risk or inconvenience to the public.

When election signs need to be removed

All election signs must be removed from all areas by 12 midnight on 7 October 2022.

Penalties if you break the signs bylaw

  • Council is able to alter, remove, seize and dispose of signage if the sign breaks the bylaw.
  • Council can recover any costs of removal or alteration from the person who broke the bylaw.
  • You may be fined:
    • under the Local Government Act 2002, up to $20,000
    • under the Land Transport Act, up to $1000.

How to make a complaint about a sign

If you find a sign that you think is breaking the bylaw, contact the Auckland Council call centre and register a complaint.

More information

You can read a full list of the signs bylaw changes on the Auckland Council website.

You can see the list of approved sites for public election signs on the Auckland Transport (AT) website.

Read the full list of rules for displaying election signs at these locations in clause 17 of the Signs Bylaw 2022.

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