Keeping animals on residential properties

If you want to keep animals on residential properties, you must comply with Part 2 of the Wellington Consolidated Bylaw.

Domestic animals are an important part of many households. However, they need to be kept in a way that protects the public from nuisance, maintains public health and safety, and protects the welfare of the animal.

For details and more information on restrictions or required approvals for keeping animals in Wellington, see: Wellington Consolidated Bylaw 2008 - Part 2: Animals

For more information about running or setting up an animal boarding establishment, such as a kennel or doggy day care, see: Animal boarding establishments


If you want to keep bees in your garden, the position of your hive is important. Bees establish a single flight path and drop wax and waste along their way. Hives on private property must not affect neighbouring properties and public spaces.

The Council's Environmental Health Officers will respond to complaints where bees might be causing any nuisance or danger to other residents.

If you want to establish a hive on Council-administered land (e.g. at a community garden), you will need a licence. See our guidelines to find out more about what conditions need to be met to receive a licence.

Contact Apiculture New Zealand about beekeeping registration and disease prevention in your area.


New bylaw

By early 2018, all domestic cats over the age of 12 weeks must be microchipped and the cat's microchip registered with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register.

New bylaw on microchipping cats


For detailed information about keeping dogs, registration, exercise areas, and dog control, see: Dogs


Under the bylaw:

  • goats must wear an ear tag (an RFID tag or similar) or collar to indicate that they are not feral
  • all goats kept in the city must be kept confined on their owner's property.


There are welfare and health requirements that owners need to meet when keeping birds. Check the Wellington Consolidated Bylaw 2008, Part 2 Animals for more information.


Roosters are not allowed to be kept in urban areas. Crowing roosters are nuisance issue for urban communities. However, you can apply for permission from the Council to keep roosters in an urban area.

If you want to seek permission to keep a rooster, contact a Public Health Officer.

Chickens and other poultry

Choose a location for your poultry carefully. Compact residential neighbourhoods are often unsuitable. Keep fowl houses and aviaries clean so they do not attract flies, rats, mice and stoats.

Under the bylaw:

  • Poultry must be adequately contained to the owner’s property.
  • Permission is required to keep more than 8 poultry.

For permission to keep more than 8 poultry, contact a Public Health Officer on 04 499 4444 or

Stock impounds

Wellington City Council has contracted Hutt City Animal Services to investigate reports of wandering stock. Animal Services officers have the right to seize and impound any wandering stock.


Stock will not be released until all costs have been paid. Failure to claim impounded stock does not relieve the owner from costs.

Description Fee
First impounding $106.00
Subsequent impounding within 1 year $170.00
Daily sustenance fee $18.50
After hours callout $29.00