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Keeping of Animals Bylaw out for public consultation

03 Jul 2023

How many cats is too many cats in urban areas? This is one of two significant changes to the Proposed Keeping of Animals Bylaw 2022 that Buller’s residents can make a submission on in the coming four weeks.

Council is consulting on changes to the proposed version of its Keeping of Animals Bylaw between 3 July and 31 July 2023.

Council began the review of the Keeping of Animals Bylaw last year, with the main purpose to minimise the nuisance caused by animals to neighbours and those living nearby.

The proposed bylaw includes specific guidance around keeping poultry, bees, livestock and cats in urban areas. It also incorporates updated definitions to help with the interpretation of terms such as nuisance and urban areas.

Between 13 September and 11 October 2022 council consulted on the proposed bylaw and received 63 submissions. 

Council’s Acting chief executive officer Sean Judd says: “The submissions covered a range of issues with a number raising similar concerns around the classification of semi-rural communities as urban areas and the provisions around keeping cats in urban areas.”

At the hearing in December 2022, nine submitters presented their submissions in person.

Mr Judd says: “Councillors considered all the submissions and recommended changes to the urban area boundaries – so that only Westport, Carters Beach and Reefton are classified as urban areas.

They also looked carefully into the provisions for keeping cats, taking into account the impact cats can have on native wildlife and on neighbours when they roam.  Councillors have recommended that the number of cats in urban areas is limited to two per property and that they should be desexed, microchipped and registered with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (with exemptions for certified breeding animals).”

The remainder of the proposed bylaw remains the same as the one which was consulted on in 2022. 

Mr Judd says: “We have listened to our community and now want to know what people think about the two changes, to finalise a bylaw that fits Buller.”

Council encourages residents to read the Statement of Proposal including the maps which outline the urban area boundaries, read through the explanation of the two significant changes, and to have a look at the entire proposed bylaw with the changes incorporated.

The proposed bylaw does not affect the keeping of dogs. This is covered by a separate bylaw.

Mr Judd says: “The new bylaw provides a better tool for council to manage, regulate, and protect the public from any nuisance or offence associated with the keeping of animals, and maintain public health and safety in the district.”

To find out more visit council’s website. Submissions can be made in writing or online. Copies of documents and submission forms can be found at Buller district libraries, Council offices and the Karamea and Ngakawau Information Centres.

Notes to the reader:

Bylaws are discrete pieces of law created by councils that specifically apply to a district. These locally applicable forms of legislation deal with district-specific issues that are not already covered by any existing Acts of Parliament or Regulation.


further information please contact:
Sean Judd
Acting Chief Executive Officer