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Fitness trainers using reserves

Fitness trainers don't currently need Council approval to operate on a reserve.

However, they are expected to operate in a manner that minimises:

  • damage to reserve values and assets, 
  • conflict with other reserve users, and 
  • negative impacts on adjoining landowners and businesses.

This outlines the Council’s expectations in relation to how fitness trainers should conduct their activities on reserves in respect to other open space users, health and safety aspects, use of fitness training equipment, parking, promotional material, public liability and the response to complaints.

If a complaint is received Council will contact the fitness trainer to:

  1. follow up on any breech of the rules below with a warning
  2. invoice the fitness trainer for the cost of remediation works, if the complaint relates to damage to the reserve or reserve facilities
  3. assess whether the activity is appropriate for the area, and if necessary, determine alternate site options with the fitness trainer.

If significant complaints are received about a fitness trainer, Council will issue a further warning and may take legal action to prevent the fitness trainer or exercise class using Council spaces.

Council encourages you to be receptive and adaptable at all times to the needs of all reserve users and to cooperate with and provide information to Council staff upon request to assist with the effective management of our reserves.

We want to promote active and healthy lifestyles and provide opportunities for people to engage in physical exercise on its reserves. Outdoor group exercise classes where participants are motivated to achieve fitness goals in a group environment are supported by Council.

General rules

1. Fitness training activities may include but shall not be limited to:

  • Gym sessions or circuit training (with or without equipment)
  • Boot camps
  • Boxing and pad training
  • Organised aerobic activity and running groups

The offering for sale of clothing, merchandise, equipment, refreshments, goods, services or products on a park is not permitted.

2. The fitness trainer does not have exclusive use of any area at any time and must take all equipment away from any reserve when a session is not in-progress.

3. Fitness training activities shall be conducted after 7am and generally within daylight hours

4. Group/class sizes should be kept to a maximum of 15 participants. 

5. At all times the fitness trainer must conduct the fitness training activities in a manner that does not adversely affect the reserve, any other reserve user(s) and local neighbours or businesses.  

The fitness trainer must:

  • conduct themselves in an orderly and considerate manner and must comply with Council’s noise control guidelines and ensure any noise created during the training shall not unduly impact on other users or nearby residential properties.
  • not use obscene or intimidating language. 
  • manage the training to minimise wear and tear on grassed areas (this includes avoiding wet and boggy areas, rotating activity within an area and / or alternating activities, if more than one).
  • ensure participants do not step on, or walk on, or in any other way inappropriately use the Council’s furniture, structures, public art works, shrines or memorials.
  • ensure that any exercise equipment brought on to the reserve does not create a hazard or obstruction to reserve users.
  • ensure training activities do not dominate, monopolise and/or obstruct any stairways or pathways and that their participants run in single file when running in narrow areas.
  • ensure that training activities do not interfere with any other Council pre-approved or booked activities, including but not limited to: events or sporting activities.
  • ensure the natural features, animals, plants or historic resources within the reserve are not interfered with, removed, damaged or endangered.
  • ensure any area used is left clean after each period of use and/or in the same condition it was at the commencement of use.
  • not hinder any Council approved contractor from proceeding with their duties.
  • inspect the area used for any hazards before each session and take appropriate action to remove hazard or alter session if required, and 
  • notify Council of any hazards / issues / reserve maintenance on or in the vicinity of the area which may constitute a danger to the public or the environment or require our attention.

6. The fitness trainer’s conduct should at all times reflect best industry practice and the operator shall ensure they and their employees comply with all relevant statutes, regulations, by-laws, the City Plan, and with any operative reserves management plans and relevant open spaces policies or plans.

7. The fitness trainer shall cover the costs of any damage caused to Council assets and/or any cleaning required as a result of the training activity.

Health and safety

The fitness trainer must ensure they:

  • have a first aid kit and mobile phone on site
  • satisfy all occupational health and safety legislation and regulations. It is recommended that all trainers be level 2 First Aid qualified.


Any equipment brought on to the reserve must be portable by an individual by hand and free standing at all times (i.e. equipment must not be pegged into the ground/trees or hung from trees).

The following equipment is expressly prohibited on the reserve:

  • large gym equipment or anything that attaches to any reserve fixture or trees, (for example, weight benches, weight stacks, stationary bikes, punching/boxing bags, treadmills, steppers), and
  • whistles and megaphones.


All vehicles belonging to or directly associated with the operator must use only designated car park facilities on the reserve unless otherwise agreed with the relevant Council business unit.

Promotional material

The fitness trainer shall not erect any advertising material such as signs, ‘A’ frames or banners on the reserve. The exception to this is a single sign that indicates a session is in-progress, within 15 minutes either side of any fitness session.

Any signs indicating that a session is in-progress must be free-standing, not attached to any reserve fixture or trees, and not block public access to different spaces.

Public liability

Tauranga City Council shall not be responsible for any property of the operator its employees or participants that may be left on the reserve or for any loss of any property.

Tauranga City Council shall not be liable for and does not accept any responsibility for indirect or consequential loss to the operator due to any natural disaster, vandalism, sabotage, fire or exposure to the elements, except where such damage or interference is caused by any wilful act by or negligence on the part of the Council, its employees, agents or contractors.

It is recommended the fitness trainer takes out an appropriate level of public liability insurance against liability for loss, damage or injury arising out of conducting their fitness training activity.

Recommended professional registration

Registration with the New Zealand Register of Exercise Professionals at the personal trainer (contractor) level is recommended as a way of ensuring all industry standards are met.


If a complaint is received in the first instance Council officers will work with the fitness trainer to review whether the issue can be addressed through changes to how the fitness training is undertaken. The Fitness Trainer will be responsible for the cost of any remediation works, if the complaint relates to damage to the reserve or reserve facilities. The fitness trainer may be requested to relocate their fitness training activity to a more suitable location on the reserve or to an alternate reserve.

If further significant complaints are received about an operator, Council may take legal action to prevent the fitness trainer or exercise class using Council spaces.

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