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  • Writer's picturePhil Evans

Keeping Bees in Residential Areas, by Council – South Island

The final part in the series by PHIL EVANS, summarising Council’s requirements for keeping beehives in residential, urban areas, details 24 Councils from the South Island.

In these areas, the vast majority of Councils, 19, have (as best I could research) no specific rules pertaining to beehives in residential or urban areas, other than general nuisance guidelines. Four have specific restrictions and one is unknown.

Buller District Council building, Westport.

Complaints about bees are managed under the bylaw stated for each Council. This means the council will investigate, and may suggest changes to location, entrance direction, water availability, fence height, or removal on a case-by-case basis.

Disclaimer – The information presented here should be used as a guide only, and has been found on the Council’s websites and through contact with Council staff. For full details of rules, restrictions, fees etc. for keeping bees in your region, please contact your local Council.

The following councils have no formal restrictions, other than nuisance guidelines in their associated bylaws. (n/a denotes no bylaw exists):

Marlborough DC – Animals Bylaw 2017 Nelson CC – Urban Environments Bylaw (No. 225) 2015 Tasman DC – No Bylaw Grey DC – No Bylaw Ashburton DC – Keeping of Animals, Bees & Poultry 2016 Hurunui DC - Keeping of Animals in Settlement Areas Bylaw 2017 Christchurch CC – No Bylaw Kaikoura DC – No Bylaw Mackenzie DC – No Bylaw Timaru DC - Chapter 17: The Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw 2018 Waimakariri DC – No Bylaw Waimate DC – Consolidated Bylaw Section 1806 Central Otago DC – No Bylaw Westland DC – No Bylaw Clutha DC – Clutha District Council Regulatory Bylaw 2018 Dunedin CC – No Bylaw Queenstown Lakes DC – No Bylaw Invercargill CC – Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw 2013 Southland DC – The Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw 2020

Councils with specific beekeeping rules:

Chatham Islands Council Stock Control and Keeping of Poultry, Bees & Pigs Bylaw 2018.

· No bees can be kept in ‘Settlement Areas’ without permission from Council. Number of hives and locations may be prescribed.

Selwyn District Council Keeping Animals, Poultry & Bees 2021.

· Only two hives on any property in urban areas

· Council will consider up to 4 hives on properties over 1500sqm.

· Council may determine location, on advice from NZ Beekeepers Inc.

· Water source must be provided.

Waitaki District Council Waitaki District General Bylaws 2018.

· Limit of two hives per rateable property

· Must apply in writing to Council

Gore District Council Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw 2016.

· Limit of one hives per rateable property.

· Permit required for more than one hive.

Buller District Council Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees - Model General Bylaw NZS9201: Part 13: 1999.

· The above Bylaw is referred to on the Buller DC website, but the bylaw is not available electronically, and Buller DC had not responded to enquiries before publishing. Please contact Buller DC if you live in this region.


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