Signs are important for sharing information and promoting business, events, community groups and the district. However, if not managed effectively, signs can have negative impacts on public safety, amenity and the character of an area.

The Council has a number of different tools available for managing signs. These include its regulatory powers under the Whanganui District Plan and bylaws as well as its landowner powers.

The Council's Signage Policy 2018(PDF, 2MB) reflects a shift in the way that Council manages signs within public places towards greater use of its landowner powers. In addition, this policy seeks to provide greater public certainty about how the Council will exercise its landowner powers and the expectations of the Council on those erecting signs.

The objectives of the policy are:

  • To ensure that advertising signs within any public place are displayed, erected, fixed, placed, located and maintained in a way that does not present a hazard or danger to public safety
  • To maintain aesthetic standards and preserve visual amenity values in the district.
  • To recognise the need for information signage and the need to advertise businesses, promote commerce, activities and events in the district.
  • To provide greater certainty to businesses, organisations, members of the public and for the consistent administration of the standards for signs within public places.

More information is available in the Signage Policy 2018.

Election Signage

Here is a summary of the rules for Election Signage.

What counts as an election sign?

Any sign that encourages people to vote for a candidate in an election.

Election signs must:

  • clearly display the name and contact details of the person responsible for displaying the sign;
  • not exceed 2.4 metres in height;
  • not exceed a display area of 3 metres squared

Election signs can only be put up during the election period, and you'll need to take it down the night before Election Day.

There are also rules for the writing on your sign:

  • the letter must be more than 120 mm in height if the sign is on any road, or in a place visible from a road, that has a speed limit of less than 70 km per hour
  • if the sign is on a road, or in a place visible from a road, that has a speed limit of 70 km per hour or more, the letters must be 160 mm in height

Be safe. Your sign can't be a distraction to drivers – if it is on a road or in a place visible from a road it cannot have any reflective material, lighting, or moving parts. It also cannot look like a traffic sign.

If your sign is on a trailer, there are some slightly different rules. It can't overhang the base of your trailer. Your trailer needs to be legally parked, and at least 40 metres away from any intersection.

If you want to put your sign on private land, make sure you have the permission of the landowner. Refer to the Signage Policy 2018(PDF, 2MB) to learn where you can place your signs on the Council's community signage areas.

You need a permit if it's on Council land. Download an application form(PDF, 2MB).

Signs located on the State Highway need to comply with New Zealand Transport Agency (Signs on State Highways) Bylaw.