Council will make a decision on the Nelson Urban Environments Bylaw on 10 May 2022.

This Bylaw was developed in 2015, and brings together the content from seven different bylaws. That means it covers a lot of different topics.

The topics include keeping of some animals. For example, there is a limit on how many hens someone can have on a residential property, and people are not allowed to keep horses, sheep and pigs in a residential area (without a permit). The Bylaw also controls the slaughtering of animals in front of the neighbours and carcasses can’t be left to hang where they can be seen from the street.

The Bylaw limits what can be put in public rubbish bins, including dangerous materials and bags of household rubbish. It also requires street numbers to be visible so people can find their way around.

Begging is not permitted within the city, and there are limits on where and how people can ask for donations for charities and other causes. Busking and mobile shops (such as coffee carts and food caravans) are also managed through this Bylaw.

Flags or boards outside a shop are limited to one per shop to avoid cluttering up the street, and becoming a health and safety risk for pedestrians.

This Bylaw lists the places where drinking in public is not allowed, such as in parks and the city centre, and this part of the Bylaw can be enforced by the Police.

The Bylaw also covers activities in reserves, as well as cemeteries, to ensure these areas continue to be safe, peaceful and welcoming places for everyone to visit.

What’s changing

From time-to-time Council is legally required to review its bylaws to make sure they are still fit for purpose. Most of the Urban Environments Bylaw is likely to stay as it is.

However, there are a few changes we can make to simplify it, to fix some issues and to make sure the Bylaw is legally robust. Here’s the list of what we are planning to change.

  • Remove the fees and charges provision in Part One and Part Eight of the Bylaw (and in the Reserves part of the Bylaw) as this approach to fee setting does not comply with section 150 of the Local Government Act 2002. Fee setting does not need to be in the Bylaw because this is covered by the legislative rules.
  • Remove the ‘caravans for residential purposes’ provision from the Bylaw to avoid duplication with planning rules.
  • Change the requirement (related to sandwich boards) of not reducing the width of the footpath available to pedestrians to clear footpath from 2m to 1.5m to align with the more recent provisions in the City Amenity Bylaw 2017
  • Reduce approval complexity for retailers by removing the requirement for retailers to gain a permit before setting up a retail display on the footpath. Instead, state that retail displays cannot be a hazard to pedestrians, or reduce the width of the footpath available to pedestrians to less than 1.5 metres.
  • Include a provision enabling Council to change its approach to sandwich boards and retail displays through a resolution so that Council can be more agile when issues arise.
  • Do not include a speed limit for vehicles in reserves in the Urban Environments Bylaw as this can be better managed under the Land Transport Act than the Local Government Act.
  • Reduce health and safety conflicts in reserves by removing provision for golf practice in a designated area in Neale Park.
  • Do not include an ‘offences and penalties’ clause in the Burial and Cremation part of the Draft Amended Urban Environments Bylaw because this Bylaw relies on the provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 rather than the Health Act 1956.
  • Explicitly state what section of the Local Government Act 2002 enables Council to make each part of the bylaw to clarify powers and obligations.
  • Minor wording changes to improve the clarity and consistency of the Bylaw.