The Traffic and Parking Bylaw was approved at the 17 August 2023 Council meeting. The new bylaw will come into effect on 3 November 2023.

The updated bylaw can be seen here.

The main changes to the bylaw include:

  • No parking on cultivated areas (berms, gardens etc.)
  • Re-parking in the same zone within 30 minutes of vacating a parking spot will be deemed to have remained parked continuously
  • No repairs of vehicles on-road (unless minor in nature)

When deciding on these changes to the Bylaw, Council took into account consideration for other drivers and pedestrians, the effect on the environment, wear and tear on infrastructure and safety

Parking on berms can damage the grass and our water infrastructure under the berm. It also makes it difficult for those in wheelchairs, mobility scooters and those with prams.

Nelson city centre parking is made up of free parking, all day paid parking and general parking (with an hour free). Time limits are on carparks to ensure there's parking available when people need it, and so we can all take advantage of the 1 hour free parking.

Topping up windscreen wiper water or replacing a bulb would be considered a minor repair, assuming you can do it safely. Undertaking major work that requires cars being up on blocks (like an engine removal) is unsafe for vehicles passing by.

Submissions on the Parking and Vehicle Control Bylaw have now closed.

The current Parking and Vehicle Control Bylaw 2011 (Bylaw 207) regulates parking and vehicle control in Nelson. The bylaw has been amended a number of times since it came into effect in December 2004. It is due to expire on 3 November 2023.

To make sure Council continues to have the ability to regulate traffic and parking matters, a new Traffic and Parking Bylaw must be in place before 3 November 2023.

We have proposed some changes to update and modernise the current bylaw, including adding several new provisions. These provisions are designed to address current gaps in the bylaw and to make our roads safer for all users.

The structure and drafting of the proposed bylaw aim to cover current and foreseeable demands on the road and parking resources, and to allow timely response by Council to new challenges and new technology.

The proposed Traffic and Parking Bylaw, (the proposed new bylaw) is set out in the Statement of Proposal.

This bylaw review has been considered significant under Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. A special consultative procedure with submissions, hearings and deliberations will be held.

Read the media release on the bylaw here.

The link to the Report approved by Council can be seen here.

Clarification of parking zones to stop reparking within 30 minutes
In time-restricted parking areas that are not covered by a parking meter, it is currently too easy for drivers to park for the allotted time and then move to a different car park close by. This practice has a negative effect on parking turnover, which can see retailers suffer as a result as customers struggle to find a park.

By creating a parking zone within which reparking is only possible after 30 minutes, we can improve enforcement for maximum time limits. It was felt that 30 minutes struck a balance between keeping spaces available and allowing people to return in a reasonable amount of time.

It’s in everyone’s interest for maximum parking times to be enforced as this is what ensures there is always capacity to park throughout Nelson.

Parking on berms
The current default position in the city is that it is permissible to park on the berm unless signage says otherwise. We are seeking feedback on reversing this default so it is not permissible unless a sign says otherwise. This would bring Nelson in line with many other places in New Zealand.

Although we don’t get a huge number of complaints about parking on berms, parking on the berm can create quite a few different problems. When people park on the berm on this street, especially in winter, it can end up leaving berms uneven, muddy and messy.

The practice can also damage the kerb when vehicles drive over them (especially heavier vehicles), and over time this can contribute to cracked and rutted footpaths that allow water to damage underlying layers. In addition, there are also utilities underneath our berms and we tend to see things like broken service lids, particularly plastic water meter boxes.

Parking motorhomes and heavy vehicles on streets long-term
People storing vehicles that either cannot move or are rarely moved on a public street severely restricts available parking for residents and can reduce safety as larger vehicles can obstruct sightlines. When people complain to us about this, at the moment, Council does not have any provision in the current bylaw to address the issue and this change to the bylaw will allow better management of vehicles that have become a nuisance. The street is not a long-term storage place for vehicles.

A detailed summary of the key changes to the bylaw are as follows:

1.1. Regulating parking on State Highway (clause 5): The proposed bylaw includes a provision for the Council to manage parking and stationary vehicle offences on State Highway 6 between Peace Grove (north of Trafalgar Street) and the Annesbrook roundabout. This is contingent on Waka Kotahi delegating powers to Council and fees collected will offset the costs of managing enforcement. No parking restrictions on the State Highway are due to be changed as a result of the new delegation, but it will allow a consistent citywide approach to parking enforcement for the public.

1.2. Parking on the Berms (clause 37): The proposed bylaw proposes to ban parking on berms and areas in roads not designed for parking unless specifically authorised by Council. Banning parking where the road is not specifically designed for vehicles reduces the risk of damage to the berm and to any underlying services (e.g. pipes buried in the berm), but it also significantly alters the way many people are currently using some property frontages. This is a notable change from the current bylaw, which prohibits parking only where signage has been erected.

1.3. Definitions (clause 7): Amendments are proposed to the definitions to align (as much as possible) with the LTA 1998 and the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004.

1.4. Restricting skateboards and other wheeled recreational devices on footpaths (clause 22): The current bylaw specifically allows bans of skateboards and other wheeled recreational devices (like scooters) on particular footpaths. The power to make such bans has been included in the proposed bylaw, but as new forms of active transport become more popular and feasible, the Council is interested in the community’s views on whether this provision should remain.

1.5. Reserved parking (clauses 30, 31 and 32): Special parking areas are included in the current bylaw. The new bylaw allows the Council to define the location, time and fee payment restrictions to the special parking areas where these might be different to the zone rules. This could include special parking areas that are for residents only. Clause 30 Residents Parking aligns the bylaw with the Parking Strategy and aims to manage future parking demand with new developments in the urban area.

1.6. Zones for time-restricted parking and payment parking (clauses 33 and 34): The proposed bylaw allows the Council to establish time-restricted parking zones, where time limits will apply to most parking spaces, and payment parking zones, where fees will apply to most parking spaces. The proposed bylaw itself does not create any new time limited or payment zones, but Council has added some extra provisions to clarify that if someone re-parks in the same car park or the same parking zone within a 30-minute period, then they are deemed to have remained parked in the zone throughout that time. If someone leaves a parking zone for more than 30 minutes and then returns, all time restrictions and fees will start fresh when they re-park, but they can’t reclaim the 1 hour free.

1.7. Vehicle Crossings (clause 25): The proposed bylaw would allow vehicles to pass over footpaths only by means of an authorised vehicle crossing. Adjacent landowners can apply to the Council to install, alter or remove a vehicle crossing. This process has not changed. The Land Development Manual 2020 gives the standards for the construction of vehicle crossings. This process has not changed however the proposed bylaw reinforces that a vehicle crossing is for the adjacent landowners benefit so the costs of maintaining this should not fall to the ratepayers. The bylaw would give the Council the power to require a landowner to upgrade their vehicle crossing if it is in a poor state of repair and poses a risk to other road users, or if it needs upgrading due to a change in its use. The proposed bylaw also allows the Council to remove vehicle crossings where they have been abandoned by the owner or are no longer used (eg if the owner has built a fence over the driveway access), although the Council will need to consult with the owner first.

1.8. Cruising and Engine Braking, (clauses 23 and 24): The proposed bylaw would allow the Council to prohibit or restrict cruising or engine braking on specified roads to reduce noise pollution. These types of powers are used elsewhere in New Zealand, especially large metropolitan areas. There is little known about the demand for these restrictions in Nelson currently, but inclusion would allow prohibitions to be enacted in the future if required.

1.9. Consultation on resolutions made under the bylaw (clause 10): The proposed bylaw provides for the Council to make resolutions to impose the various restrictions and requirements applied under the bylaw. The proposed bylaw includes a standard consultation process for such resolutions. The Council must make its proposed resolutions available on its website at least 3 weeks before the Council is due to consider them, and members of the public will have at least 2 weeks in which to make submissions. This ensures transparency and certainty for this process.

1.10. Resolutions under the proposed bylaw come into effect once signage and markings are in place, (clause 11). This ensures road users are aware of the restrictions and prohibitions as they come into effect.

1.11. Vehicle and Road Use (clauses 14 to 21 and 26). The proposed bylaw provides for rules for:

  • One-way roads,
  • turning restrictions,
  • pedestrian crossings,
  • special vehicle lanes,
  • heavy vehicle restrictions,
  • shared paths and cycle paths,
  • shared zones, and
  • unformed legal road.

Most of these provisions are included in the current bylaw. The proposed bylaw is clearer that they are applied to a specific location by resolution.

1.12. Left or right turns and U-turns are not included in the current bylaw. Turn restrictions are primarily used at signalised intersections to manage traffic flows but can be used elsewhere when there is a safety concern that is most appropriately addressed by banning a turning movement.

1.13. Unformed legal roads, have been added to the proposed bylaw to allow Council to control vehicle use of unformed legal roads to protect the environment, utility assets, or safety.

1.14. Parking restrictions (clauses 27, 29): The proposed bylaw enables the Council to regulate parking on both roads and public places. Public places include areas that are not streets, such as parking buildings, or parking areas that are available in parks and reserves or at the Marina. Not all of these public places are regulated under the current bylaw, but the Council may like to extend regulation to these areas in the future. For example, parking restrictions could be imposed at the Marina and at the planned City Bus Interchange as a transport station in the future. This approach would allow greater consistency in parking requirements for all areas, especially where we expect to see greater demand for parking in the future.

1.15. Temporary parking restrictions (clause 28): The proposed bylaw permits an Authorised Officer (i.e. an individual authorised by the Council to carry out such duties) to make temporary parking permissions or restrictions. This is to enable short-term changes for such purposes as events, adjacent building construction or renovations, and roadworks that typically require a Traffic Management Plan. If adopted this will require an update to the delegations register.

1.16. Requirements for parking (clause 36): Vehicles are generally required to park within the marked parking space being used. Oversized vehicles and vehicles with trailers can use more than 1 park but cannot overhang the footpath. Vehicles overhanging the footpath create a safety and access concern for pedestrians. This addresses a gap in the current bylaw.

1.17. Parking for Display or Sale (clause 38): The proposed bylaw prohibits the parking of vehicles and trailers for sale, advertising, or election campaigns unless specifically permitted by the Council. This is to limit activities that cause driver distraction which is a known safety risk for road users. This would apply to state highways covered by the proposed bylaw.

1.18. Long-Term Parking of Trailers, Motorhomes, Heavy Vehicles and Immobilised Vehicles (clause 39): Long-term parking of trailers on roads is not permitted under the current bylaw. The proposed bylaw extends this to include Motorhomes, Heavy Vehicles and Immobilised Vehicles. They have been added as Council often receives complaints about these types of vehicles being parked for extended periods. Long-term is defined as more than 7 days.

1.19. Other parking (clauses 40, 41 and 42) Repair work on vehicles is to be prohibited from being carried out on a road, unless the repairs are minor and the work does not cause any risk, or if the work is necessary to enable the vehicle to be moved. This is to reduce the safety hazard of people working in, under or around vehicles on the road. The proposed bylaw prohibits the storage of broken down or un-roadworthy vehicles on the road. If a vehicle is broken down or does not have motor power it must be removed from the road within 7 days. This is to reduce the risk or environmental degradation (eg oil, grease, glass, opportunities for vandalism) and make parking spaces available for users.

1.20. The proposed bylaw will permit the placement of other items (eg skips, portaloos, freight containers, machinery and materials etc.) on the road with the approval of Council. This approval would be delegated to an officer authorised by the Council to carry out such duties alongside the process for approval for Road Corridor Bookings.

1.21. Offences and Defences (clause 44 and 45): The clauses for offences have been extended in the proposed bylaw to include acts that:

  • Hinder emergency services in their business of responding to an incident
  • Drives or parks any vehicle on a road where it is in such a condition that an undue quantity of oil, grease or fuel drops from such vehicle
  • Damage the road, including cycle paths and footpaths
  • Makes a false application or supplies false details in an application or uses a permit on a vehicle for which it was not issued
  • Damage or otherwise affect parking equipment
  • Parks, places, or otherwise leaves a wheeled recreational device in or on any parking space unless it is designed or designated specifically for that type of wheeled recreational device.

The current bylaw includes clauses about penalties. These have not been included in the proposed bylaw. The proposed bylaw (refer to clause 44.1) will instead rely on the provisions of the LTA 1998 and the regulations and rules made under that Act. The Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999 set out the current statutory penalties.

1.22. Removal and Relocation of Vehicles (clauses 46 and 47): The Council needs to remove or relocate vehicles or items from time to time. The situations when this may be applied are given in clauses 46 and 47. Removal (clause 46) is similar to the current bylaw provisions but has been extended to include other items (eg shipping containers, portaloos) as the road space is increasingly being used where properties cannot accommodate extra items. Relocation (clause 47) has been added to assist utility authorities and transport operations in undertaking emergency (e.g. water main break repair) and scheduled maintenance works (e.g. road resurfacing). This clause is required when the public outcome (water supply or all vehicles have made room for planned resurfacing except one) exceeds the rights of one vehicle owner.

1.23. The current bylaw uses schedules to list the resolutions made under the bylaw. These are available for public viewing but are based on measurements from intersection points and no easy to interrupt or understand. The data based on these measurements can become out of date when changes are made to curb lines at intersections. The proposed bylaw will map the resolutions. The maps will not form part of the proposed bylaw but are a supporting management tool for the resolutions. At this stage, it is anticipated that the new mapping system will not be available until sometime in 2024, after a new bylaw is adopted. In the meantime, the proposed bylaw will carry over all existing schedules and resolutions from the current bylaw (see clause 48.1). Once the mapping system is ready, the Council will make resolutions adopting all controls in the maps and revoke all the earlier schedules and resolutions.

How to have your say - Whakahoki kōrero mai

Submissions have now closed.

How to make a submission on the Statement of Proposal for this Bylaw:

  • Email to
  • By free post to Nelson City Council, PO Box 645, Nelson 7040. Freepost 76919
  • By dropping off your submission to Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street.
  • You can pick up a hardcopy from:

  • Our Customer Service Centre at the corner of Trafalgar and Halifax Streets
  • The public libraries in Nelson, Stoke, and Tāhunanui.

  • Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm on Friday 2 June 2023.

    If you want to give feedback to the Council in person you can do that at public hearings on Friday 23 June 2023.

    Public Information: All submissions (including your name and contact details) will be provided to Council officers for administration and analysing feedback, and to those who are involved in decision-making on the consultation.

    All submissions, including submitter names (unless you request otherwise) but not contact details, will be publicly available online. Note, Council is subject to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and a request for official information may cover your submission, including your address and other contact details