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Council has rules for signage around the city, including where and how you can display signs.

A sign is defined as ‘any display or device whether or not placed on land or affixed to a building, stationary vehicle or structure, intended to attract attention for the purposes of directing, identifying, informing, or advertising, and which is visible from a public place’.

Rules for signage on private property (including temporary and permanent signage) are found in chapter 4 of the City Plan. The rules of the City Plan not only control the size of a sign, but the placement within the site.

Chapter 4 of the City Plan (2.6mb pdf)

Roadside signs

Council has recently streamlined the process for booking roadside signs to promote community events. Roadside signs can be booked at any time on a first come, first served, basis. Remember to make your booking early as spaces for next year are filling fast.

Book a roadsign sign

It should be noted that where a sign is over two metres in height, it will qualify as a ‘building’ and will be subject to the setback requirements applying to the zone in which it is located. In residential zones, rural-residential zones and rural zones, there is also a requirement for signage to relate only to the activities located on that site. City Plan rules relating to signage within the road zone, open space zones and education centre zones are also found in chapter 4 of the City Plan.

Signage in public places is covered by Tauranga’s Street Use and Public Places Bylaw.

Street Use and Public Places Bylaw (1.2mb pdf)


Breaches of signage rules in public spaces and on private property should be reported to Council or you can use the report a problem page.

City Plan and Street Use and Public Places Bylaw control

Real estate signs

Real estate signs, including flags attached to vehicles advertising open homes or auctions, may only be placed directly outside the property to which the signage refers. Signs should be as close to the street front boundary of that property as practicable. They can be displayed while the property is on the market and shall be removed no later than two weeks after the property has been sold. Refer to the City Plan Rule 4D.2. above.

Real estate ‘open home’ and ‘auction’ signs are permitted in public places* for a period of no longer than three hours prior to and during the open home or auction event. There are limitations on the amount of time ‘open home’ or ‘auction’ signs may be displayed.  For details see the Street Use and Public Places Bylaw above.

*Excluding on round-a-bouts, median strips or within six metres of an intersection as measured from the intersecting road boundaries.

Local election signs

Council approval is required to erect local election signs in public places.

Local elections policy (220kb pdf) Local elections policy maps (6.9mb pdf)

Phone the bylaws officer on 07 577 7000.

When erecting local election signs on private property the temporary signs provision applies (Rule 4D.2.1).  Signs may be any size, however, location may be controlled where a sign qualifies as a building (over two metres in height) or requires a building consent.

Election signage is permitted in open space zones only where it is provided for under policies on reserve signage.

Open space level of service policy (70kb pdf)

General election signs 2017

Schedule 1 of the Local Elections Policy applies to general election signs on public places. The date this applies from is from 22 July 2017. From this date, signs can be located on any of the sites identified in the local elections policy maps (6.9mb pdf) (provided they comply with the Electoral Act 1993).  Approval is for one election sign per candidate and one per party in each designated area. The maximum size of the sign is 1.5 square meters in area. The sign must be removed no later than midnight on 22 September 2017.
Any sign that falls outside of this will require specific approval from Council.

Last Reviewed: 27/03/2018

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