Keeping animals

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

Goats on a hillside.

Goats on a hillside

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



Guidelines for Community Beekeeping on Public Land (172KB PDF)



Guidelines for Community Beekeeping on Public Land (6KB RTF)


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.

For information, see: 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.

If you want to seek permission to keep a more than 8 poultry please contact a Public Health Officer.

Animal boarding establishments

If you operate, or want to set up an animal boarding establishment, or a facility like dog day care, you will need a certificate of registration. You may also need a resource or building consent. Animal boarding establishments include boarding kennels and catteries.

Certificate of registration

You will need a certificate of registration to operate an animal boarding establishment.

To discuss your proposal or other nuisance issues, contact a Public Health Officer.

Public Health Officer
Phone 04 499 4444

Welfare standards

Boarding establishments must comply with the government's animal welfare code. Consult the Code of Recommendations and Minimum Standards for the Welfare of Animals in Boarding Establishments - Biosecurity NZ to find out what standards you need to meet.

For more information on pet boarding standards, see: Pet Boarding Code of Practice and Forms - AsureQuality

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.

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

Resource consent

You may need a resource consent if there are environmental impacts or land zoning changes. Discuss your proposal with the Resource Consent team.

Development, Planning and Compliance
Phone 04 801 3590
Fax (04) 801 3100
Postal Address

PO Box 2199

Building consent

You may need a building consent for construction, plumbing or drainage work. Discuss your proposal with the Building Customer Services team.

Building Compliance and Consents
Phone 04 801 4311
Fax (04) 801 3100
Postal Address

PO Box 2199
Wellington 6140