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A safe, efficient roading system is vital to our district. It provides people with access to employment, services, education, recreation, and enables the movement of goods and services to support our economy.

Buller District Council is responsible for the maintenance and development of the district's roads and related assets including both sealed and unsealed roads, footpaths, bridges, culverts and streetlights.

Key facts about the district’s roading network are:

  • The district’s roading network consists of 601km of roads.
  • 318km are sealed and 283km are unsealed.
  • There are 84km footpath, 143 bridges, 1618 culverts, and more than 900 streetlights, that are maintained by Council

Things you might want to know more about

Walking is often the ‘forgotten’ transport choice, yet we all walk or use the footpath on a daily basis. It is also one of the first things we learn to do and that we are able to maintain throughout our lives.

The role of walking is becoming more significant particularly as our population is living longer. Therefore having a plan in place how the districts' footpaths are maintained and developed is critical to foster this healthy way of transport. 

The Buller District has a total of 86.5km of footpaths (2019), which reflects the low population in our rural part of New Zealand. 61% of footpaths are located in Westport, 9% are in Reefton, 6% are in Carters Beach, and the remaining 24% are in Northern Buller, Punakaiki, Ikamatua and Inangahua Junction.

In conversation with the community Council created an action plan through a series of public workshops in 2019 how this network of walking connections will be developed over the 10-years from 2019. 

The Action Plan was created out of an assets and need assessment for all footpaths in Buller, followed by in depth public workshops with the community. The outcome of the plan was a schedule of improvements to footpaths between 2019 and 2029. These upgrades are mainly funded through the National Land Transport Fund

In short the Walking Action Plan 2019 has informed what footpath repair has been done, where and when since 2019.

Under the Local Government Act, property owners are required to trim trees or shrubs obstructing a footpath, road, street sign or waterway.

Trees and shrubs overhanging boundaries must be trimmed to a minimum height of 2.5 meters above footpaths and berms and 6 meters above roads.

Residents are asked to prune trees and shrubs to their boundary line, to have a minimum 1.5m of footpath available for pedestrians and other users.

Council recommends to get your trimming done before spring to keep footpaths and roads clear.

Council is responsible for trimming vegetation on road reserves overhanging on any public access e.g. footpath, berm, park, reserve, waterway or road median strip.

Do your bit to keep Buller’s roads and footpaths safe.

Funding for road maintenance and construction is shared between Council and Waka Kotahi NZTA. All State Highways are constructed and maintained by Waka Kotahi NZTA.

Council maintains most other public roads. Council’s current road maintenance contractor is WestReef Services Limited

Waka Kotahi NZTA is subsidising 72% of costs in 2021-2024.

This funding covers:

  • Road maintenance, including metalling and grading of roads
  • Roading reseals, seal smoothing and seal widening of all sealed roads
  • Bridge maintenance
  • Minor Safety Improvements
  • Street lighting
  • Footpath maintenance

Buller District Council has collaborated with Waka Kotahi to facilitate the transition of processing overweight permits on behalf of Council. This change will come into effect on February 19, 2024.

An advantage of this change is that a single application can be made where there is travel intended on both Buller District and State Highway networks.

For overweight vehicles, there are strict controls on the overall weight and axle loads of vehicles. If your vehicle exceeds the limits because an indivisible load is being carried or because of the vehicle's design, then an overweight permit is required before travel is allowed.

Applying for an overweight permit

From February 19, 2024, permit applications will need to be made online via Waka Kotahi’s Heavy Vehicle Permit Portal: Online permit portal (external link).

Permit applications will be reviewed and approved in accordance with Waka Kotahi’s existing policies and procedures.

It is important to note that current permits issued by the Buller District Council will remain valid until their respective expiry dates.

Any permit applications received prior to February 19th, 2024, will be passed on to Waka Kotahi to review and process as part of this change.

To contact Waka Kotahi, email: 

From the Mokihinui Bridge to the Karamea Bridge and from the Ōpārara Bridge to Kohaihai, roads are classified as “Special Purpose Roads”.

All work on these stretches of road is fully subsidised by Waka Kotahi NZTA.

Road maintenance is undertaken by external contractors, with Council overseeing the specifications and management of these contracts.

If you are aware of any unresolved roading problems such as potholes, road and footpath subsidence and any hazards or obstacles please contact:

  • For issues relating to State Highways within the Buller District, please contact Waka Kotahi's customer service team directly. Use Waka Kotahi's State Highway issue or feedback online form or phone 0800 4 Highways (0800 44 44 49) (operating 24 hours a day).  
  • For issues relating to other roads within the district that are not State Highways, phone Buller District Council on 0800 807 239 or submit a service request

To apply for a road closure on local roads in Buller (these are all roads excluding State Highways), you need to submit a Traffic Management Plan that includes all requested road closures to Council.

Your Traffic Management Plan must be lodged at least 42 working days for events ( marathons, parades, etc.) and 7 working days for general road works before you require a road closure with our roading team.

Please send your traffic management plan to with the subject “road closure application”.

If you want to install water, stormwater, or sewer services or a vehicle crossing on a road in Buller, use our online or paper application form.