Keyword: #footpaths

Footpaths, Berms and Walkways
Ngā Ara Hīkoi, Ngā Pēma me Ngā Huarahi Hīkoi

Here you'll find all the information you need on Ōtorohanga Districts footpaths, berms and walkways. This includes details about footpath maintenance, unsealed walkways, berm maintenance and exemptions, roadside grazing and temporary fencing rules.

Footpaths and walkways 

We provide footpaths on some streets in our urban communities for safe and comfortable access and recreation of all of our district's residents. Council maintains footpaths to make sure they're suitable for pedestrians to use them safely, without excessive slipping or tripping hazards. When leaves or other material accumulates significantly, these are removed from footpaths where appropriate.

Council aims to provide a sealed or concrete footpath on at least one side of the streets that are more heavily used by pedestrians. We have a prioritised programme of footpath construction so that we can achieve this over time. Footpath construction scope depends on the financial circumstances of Council at that time.

Ōtorohanga and Kāwhia communities also have a small number of unsealed walkways. These walkways only receive limited maintenance which normally involves periodic cutting back of vegetation and repair of any serious walkway defects.


Berms are the areas between the road and adjacent properties in urban communities. In some cases, the berm may contain footpaths, signs, lights, power poles and other items owned by Council or other service providers. Though the land of the berm is owned by Council, it is generally expected that occupiers will maintain their own berms.

In rural areas, however, the area between the road pavement and the adjacent property will be subject to occasional mowing or weed spraying by Council, only to the extent that vegetation growth does not interfere in the vision of road users.

Need to be excluded from roadside vegetation control?

If you need your property frontage to be excluded from roadside vegetation control, please contact Council.

Temporary roadside fencing in rural areas – roadside grazing

Roadsides are part of Council’s managed corridor (the local network) and consist of the land between the legal property boundary, the grass verge and the road shoulder.

We receive enquiries regarding temporary fencing of the road berm for stock grazing. Traditionally, roadside grazing is permitted to allow farmers and other property owners to keep the property frontage neat. Allowing temporary fencing comes with rules that need to be followed for the safety of road users and grazing stock.

You should be aware that the road fence is often not sited on the legal boundary but is placed within road reserve, to enable tidier management of that land by owners. Council usually retains a width outside the road driving surface edge for safety and maintenance. It is important to know that Council does not manage most of this area, only the space which is mown for visibility, access, and safety. The remaining area is the adjacent owner’s responsibility to maintain.

On occasion rural landowners may want to temporarily fence the roadside adjacent to their property. If your property is adjacent to a State Highway, you will need to contact the NZ Transport Agency to find out their requirements. Otherwise, Council doesn’t currently require a permit for temporary fencing, however the following standards are to be adhered to:

  • The fencing must be safe.
  • It is to consist of materials that are easily breakable/bendable, such as pigtail standards or a plastic equivalent.
  • You shall not use waratah standards or similar. These pose a serious safety issue to people inside vehicles, as well as cyclists and other road users who might run off the road.
  • Permanent fencing materials can not be used. This includes timber or concrete posts, barbed wire, or heavy (no. 8) wire.
  • Fences can only be erected during daylight hours and must be removed at night.
  • The fence is to be placed:
    •  At least 1.5m from the edge of the road.
    • It cannot affect entrance ways.
    • It must contain livestock from wandering.
    • Stock must have access to water.
    • We advise placing signs on the wire to advertise if it is ‘electric’ and ‘live’.
    • No bulls will be permitted to graze road reserve. A fence becomes permanent when it is placed in the same position for a length of time exceeding (one month) and then will require a permit.

Besides these rules, any temporary fencing is still subject to traffic regulations, and it is important you are aware of your responsibilities. Fences and livestock can present a serious safety risk to road users. Talk to your insurer to understand what your public liability covers you for in the event of a crash. Also consider if you have allowed enough space for horse riders, walkers or cyclists to be safe. Any accident resulting from stock on the road will be entirely your responsibility.

Council reserves the right to remove any unsafe fencing. Stock will be placed in the nearest paddock, the fence will be removed, and you will then receive a consequent letter and visit.

Have questions about roadside fencing?

If you wish to discuss installing or replacing a permanent roadside fence, please contact Council.

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