Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw

Submissions closed on 08 May 2020, 04:00 PM

Cat sitting on a lawn

Whanganui District Council invites you to have your say on its proposed changes to the Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw.

The Council has reviewed this bylaw and has decided that it continues to be the most efficient and effective method of managing the issues related to animals in the Whanganui District.

This consultation closed on Friday 8 May 2020. View all submissions made during the consultation period(PDF, 4MB) .

Overview of the proposed changes

Introducing a maximum limit of four cats per premises with desexing

Council is proposing to impose a maximum of four cats per premises. Council would retain the ability to set a maximum number of cats for an individual premises where a nuisance was being created. In addition, Council would require the desexing of cats unless they are intended to be kept for breeding purposes. o Advantages and Disadvantages:


  • The majority of cat owner respondents favoured a limit of 4 cats, if a limit were to be imposed.
  • The difference in effects on the amenity of neighbouring properties from 4 as opposed to 2 cats is likely to be negligible.
  • The desexing of cats, where they are not intended to be used for breeding, limits the potential for nuisance from overpopulation of companion animals; and stray or feral cats.
  • Council’s non-regulatory activities support the requirement for desexing of non-breeding cats.


  • The majority of respondents to the survey support a maximum of 2 cats per premises.
  • A maximum of 4 cats per premises within the bylaw may create an expectation that 4 cats are deemed not to be a nuisance.

Introducing a maximum limit of two hives per premises within the ‘Urban Area’ and within 2km of the Whanganui

Council is proposing to impose a maximum of two hives per premises within the ‘Urban Area’. In addition, all properties within two kilometres of the ‘Urban Area’ surrounding Whanganui would also be subject to the bee keeping areas for urban areas.


  • A minimum of 2 hives are required for a hobby beekeeper to perpetuate their hives.
  • Two hives complying with the urban controls for bees will maintain a level of safety and amenity for surrounding properties and the general public.
  • Provides the ability for bees to be kept on small peri-urban properties subject to complying with the urban rules.
  • Allows for the control of overwintering of hives within and in close proximity to the Whanganui urban area.
  • Allows for additional hives to be placed on a premises where suitable measures are in place to avoid and mitigate an adverse impact on safety and amenity.


  • Larger properties within the urban area and the peri-urban area surrounding Whanganui would have additional controls around bees. 


Expanding the definition of ‘Urban Area’ to include properties zoned rural settlement in the Whanganui District Plan

Council is proposing to the existing definition for ‘Urban Area’ to include properties zoned Rural Settlement under the District Plan. Properties zoned Rural Settlement, while not contiguous with the urban area, typically have similar character to large residential properties in close proximity to one another. The size of properties within the Rural Settlement Zone can also have the effect of making controls designed for larger rural properties overly restrictive.


  • The area to which the urban rules apply expands with changes to the District Plan.
  • Rules for the ‘Urban Area’ are designed to maintain the amenity of smaller sites without the reliance on larger setback from property boundaries.
  • People living within the rural lifestyle zones may have different expectations regarding amenity when compared to residentially and rural settlement zoned properties.


  • Rural controls designed for larger properties, including boundary setback, can be unnecessarily restrictive when applied to smaller rural residential sites.
  • People living within the rural settlement zone may have different expectations regarding amenity when compared to residentially zoned properties.

Other minor amendments

These include:

  • Redrafting the bylaw to follow the Parliamentary Counsel Office Drafting Manual;
  • Removing the express provision for the grazing of horses behind a temporary electric fence;
  • Allowing Kunekune pigs to meet the standard stock rules provided that they are wholly grass fed without supplementary feeding; and
  • Limiting the number of stock units that may be grazed on an urban premises based on the size of the premises.