Fences and Fencing Issues
This page explains the legal situation regarding locating, building and maintaining boundary fences on private properties in Porirua City.
Councils have no jurisdiction in fencing issues
Council has no legal jurisdiction in determining neighbourhood fencing issues. It has the same status as a private property owner under the legislation.
Fencing rights and obligations are set in the Fencing Act 1978
Your fencing rights, obligations and processes are set out in the Fencing Act 1978.
There should be consultation with neighbours about fences
If you are proposing to build a new or alter an existing boundary fence you should consult the neighbour or neighbours that will be affected by the fence before you start site work to obtain mutual agreement on the fence design particularly where you expect them to contribute to the fence cost and the location of the boundary line between your properties.
Property boundary lines need to be firmly set
Set your boundaries by either locating your property survey pegs or by employing a surveyor to reset them for you if you cannot find the original pegs or if there is disagreement with a neighbour on the correct boundary line.
In some cases you may require a Building and/or Resource Consent
Generally you do not require council approval to build or erect a fence that does not exceed 2 metres in height.
You will require Building Consent and possibly a Resource Consent where you are proposing to build a fence that will exceed 2 metres in height or that is a substantial structure i.e., brick or block work with heavy foundations.
Property owners may initiate legal proceedings under the legislation
Where there is disagreement on fencing issues a property owner may take legal action against their neighbour to resolve the problem.
It is recommended however that you read the legislation thoroughly and/or obtain legal advice on what you can or cannot do with the correct process to be followed.
All forms and documentation required for that action are contained in the Schedules located at the end of the Fencing Act 1978.
Links to more fencing information
Porirua City Council links: