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Proposed Keeping of Animals Bylaw

Between 13 September and 11 October 2022 Council consulted on the amended version of its Keeping of Animals Bylaw.

Council reviewed the present model general bylaw for the keeping of animals in the Buller District to seek feedback on the updated version.

Residents could make a submission from Tuesday 13 September to 4:30pm Tuesday 11 October 2022 during the consultation period.

Hearings were held in December with a decision being expected early 2023.


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.

The previous Keeping of Animals Bylaw legislation was adopted in 2008. The amended version is proposing a significant number of changes aimed at better addressing the problems that arise in relation to animals in the district.

One of the main changes relates to a proposed ban on the keeping of roosters and other male fowl in urban areas. Residents are encouraged to read the proposal, including the maps as to where urban areas are defined, as it affects many townships across the district.

A summary of key changes is presented in the Proposed Keeping of Animals Bylaw 2022 - Statement of Proposal August 2022.

Please note that this proposed bylaw does not affect the keeping of dogs. This is covered by a separate bylaw.

The updated proposed bylaw is:

  • defining urban areas in Buller
  • banning roosters, ganders and peacocks in urban areas
  • providing the meaning of key terms like nuisance, livestock and animal
  • outlining rules around the general keeping of animals
  • increasing the number of cats permitted per house to four
  • including guidelines around beekeeping
  • determining a maximum of 12 poultry per urban property
  • wrapping rules around the slaughtering of livestock
  • introducing the possibility to charge a fee
  • clarifying the process around offences and penalties; and
  • specifying the process around repair and removal of works.

The consultation period has closed. 

There are several ways you can find out more about the proposed Keeping of Animals Bylaw 2022, and how residents could submit their feedback...

  • Download the Statement of Proposal and proposed Keeping of Animals Bylaw.
  • Consultation Documents and submission forms could be collected from Council’s offices and libraries in Westport and Reefton, i-Sites, and Resource Centres across the district.
  • Made a submission online.
  • Drop in a submission form at Council’s offices in Westport and Reefton.
  • You could request copies by sending an email to 

The consultation period closed at 4:30pm Tuesday 11 October 2022. Written submissions had to be received at the Council by that time, late submissions could not be accepted.

If residents indicated on their written submission that they wished to speak to their submission - to present additional information to Councillors - residents were given a time slot to do so during the  hearing on 14 December 2022.

After considering all submissions Council will make any necessary changes to the proposed Keeping of Animals Bylaw 2022, with the final bylaw being expected to be adopted in early 2023.