Livestock & Beekeeping


There are a number of things to consider if you are keeping animals or bees in the urban area.

Bees and beekeeping

While bees are vital for the pollination of food crops, care needs to be taken to manage bees in Whanganui’s built-up urban areas over summer. The following advice is supplied to help people who keep bees avoid their bees becoming a nuisance to others. 

Because beehives can contain up to 50,000 bees and are capable of flying several kilometres from their hive in search of food and water, it’s recommended that no more than one or two hives maximum be placed on any given section.

Because bees poop in flight, having more than two hives can cause issues that may be deemed a nuisance to other people. Our research has shown that they poop as they leave the hive but this is not scientific fact.

This bee “poop” can settle on neighbours' houses, cars or laundry and be hard to remove. However, it usually only becomes an issue when property is on the flight path where there are large numbers of bees travelling in the same direction to a good food source, causing a concentration of poop to fall in a small area.

As well as keeping hive numbers to a minimum to avoid becoming a nuisance, these rules need to be followed when housing bees in an urban area:

  • Except with the approval of the council, on premises within the urban area, the maximum number of hives shall be two 
  • Hives can’t be placed within 3m of a public footpath or within 10m of a neighbour’s dwelling.
  • There must be a fence or dense foliage at least 1.8m tall between neighbouring properties to provide a barrier.

Tips for neighbourly beekeeping (and dealing with bee poop)

  • Keep concentrations of hives down.
  • Check with your neighbours in case their property is being damaged by your bees. Most people will be happy to have some bees nearby. Problems only tend to arise when there are too many hives concentrated in an urban area.
  • If buildings are affected by bee poop, pre-soaking will aid in its removal. You can also water blast or wash off with soap to remove.
  • Use ethanol, isopropyl alcohol or products with eucalyptus oil to remove poop from clothing.


The Council’s Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw 2020(PDF, 629KB) is the best place to start if you are considering keeping animals in the urban area. Animals that are not allowed include pigs and roosters.

Loose or wandering stock can pose a significant hazard on Whanganui District roads. Call (06) 349 0001 immediately if you see livestock loose or lying on any road. If the situation poses an immediate threat to public safety contact the Whanganui Central Police Station on (06) 349 0600 or dial *555 from a mobile phone.

Impounded stock fees


First impoundment

Second and subsequent impoundment

Horses and cattle beasts

$5.00 per day

$10.00 per day


50 cents per day


In addition, the following costs may apply

After-hours call-out fee

$50.00 (one-off cost)

Transport cost

Mileage charged at 70 cents per kilometre

Cost per hour

$75.00 plus GST per hour 

Sustenance changes (per animal)



Horses and cattle beasts

$4.00 per day


 $1.00 per day

 Stock grazing permits

People can apply to Whanganui District Council if they wish to graze stock on a Council-owned road reserve. More information about the requirements of grazing stock please refer to to Section 15 of the Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw 2020(PDF, 629KB)

Apply for a permit