Rules about signs & posters

You need to check with the Council first before putting up signs as District Plan rules and conditions will apply. Before putting up posters, you'll need the property owner's permission.

Posters on bollard.

Posters on bollard


The following is a brief guide to rules about signs including those:

  • on private or public property
  • for permanent or temporary events
  • by commercial or community groups.

As updates get made to the District Plan, it's best to first check with the Council about any new rules that would apply to your sign:

Permissions and consents


Definition of a sign

The District Plan defines a sign as:

  1. any name, figure, image, character, outline, spectacle, display, delineation, announcement, poster, handbill, or an advertising device, appliance, or things of a similar advertising nature intended mainly to attract attention, and
  2. placed on or fixed to any land or building, or incorporated in the design of any building (whether by painting or otherwise), and
  3. visible from a public space. This excludes signs within buildings and signs for the management of the legal road.

District Plan rules

For a summary of types of signs and rules in the District Plan, read:

There are also other bylaws and national legislation covering signs in public places.

Election signage

If you want to advertise a party, candidate, or referendum during an electioneering period, you are required to obtain Council permission before erecting any signage on public land in the Wellington District.

Permission to place signage on public land will be issued to the applicant in writing upon approval and will show the distinct Council-approved sites where signs may be placed.

Lodging an application does not constitute approval.

Apply for Council permission to erect 2020 General Election signage on public land

Apply online – election signage

Reference documents for election signage:

Temporary signs

On private property

Examples include real estate signs, construction signs, election signage. Some signs are 'permitted as of right'. You may have to get permission from both the Council and landowner because of the zone the sign is in (e.g. city or residential areas, rural or suburban centres).

On public property

Examples include signs for real estate, construction, club, fair, fundraiser, protest march and public meeting. You may have to get permission from both the Council and landowner because of the zone the sign is in or land it is on (e.g. road reserve or footpath).

Community signage sites

There are some sites that have already been identified as suitable for community signage. Note that you will still need to get permission to put up a temporary sign in these locations.

Apply for permission to put up a temporary sign

Apply online or in person at our Temporary signs in public places - Terms and conditions (26KB PDF)

Apply online – temporary sign


Permanent signs

On private property

You are allowed signs relating to non-residential activity, but you will need to supply the Council with details about the signs in your resource consent application.

On public property

You will need approval from the Council and the landowner. Landowner consent is normally obtained through an encroachment licence, regardless of what type of public property it is on (eg road, reserve or housing property). Encroachment licence fees may apply.

More information about signs

Development, Planning and Compliance
Wellington City Council

Phone 04 801 3590
Fax 04 801 3100
Postal Address PO Box 2199
Wellington 6140


Before putting posters up in public places, you need to get the property owner's or the Council's permission if it's on Council-owned land or fixtures.

Places where you can't put posters

Council property where you can't put up posters include:

  • public street furniture
  • poles
  • poster bollards and holders (contact Phantom Billstickers - see below)
  • seats
  • signal cabinets
  • bus shelters (contact Adshel)

What you can get permission for

Posters for community and charity events

Posters on poles for community and charity events may be permitted - contact the Council to discuss.

Central business district and suburban centres

If you want to put posters up on the Council's poster bollards and pole poster holders in the central business district and suburban centres, contact the Council's contractor, Phantom Billstickers.

Phantom Billstickers can sort out whether you can put your posters up there, and if they can be put up for free or if a management fee applies.

More information about posters

Council Contact Centre

Phone 04 499 4444
Mobile Free text 3400
Fax 04 801 3138

Phantom Billstickers

Phone 04 382 9199
0800 PHANTOM (0800 742 686)
Mobile 027 752 0906
Postal Address 8 Tennyson Street
Te Aro
Wellington 6011