Contact Us   /   Council A-Z   /   Civil Defence


A sign is defined as ‘any display or device whether or not placed on land or affixed to a building, stationary vehicle or structure, intended to attract attention for the purposes of directing, identifying, informing, or advertising, and which is visible from a public place’.

Rules for signage on private property (including temporary and permanent signage) are found on page 22 in Chapter 4  of the City Plan. The rules of the City Plan not only control the size of a sign, but the placement within the site.

It should be noted that where a sign is 2m in height and over, it will qualify as a ‘building’ and will be subject to the setback requirements applying to the Zone in which it is located.  In Residential Zones, Rural-Residential Zone and Rural Zone, there is also a requirement for signage to relate only to the activities located on that site.  City Plan rules relating to signage within the Road Zone, Open Space Zones and Education Centre Zones are also found in Chapter 4.

Signage in public places is covered by Tauranga’s Street Use and Public Places Bylaw


Breaches of signage rules in public spaces and on private property should be reported to Council – phone (07) 577 7000 or use the Report a Problem page.

City Plan and Street Use and  Public Places Bylaw Controls

Real Estate Signs

Real Estate signs, including flags attached to vehicles advertising open homes or auctions, may only be placed directly outside the property to which the signage refers. Signs should be as close to the street front boundary of that property as practicable.  They can be displayed while the property is on the market and shall be removed no later than two weeks after the property has been sold.  Refer to the City Plan Rule 4D.2.1   (Temporary Signs in other than Road Zone).

Real estate ‘open home’ and ‘auction’ signs are permitted in public places* for a period of no longer than three hours prior to and during the open home or auction event. There are limitations on the amount of time ‘open home’ or ‘auction’ signs may be displayed.  For details see the Street Use and Public Places Bylaw.

* Excluding on round-a-bouts, median strips or within six metres of an intersection as measured from the intersecting road boundaries.

Local Election Signs

Council approval is required to erect local election signs in public places 

Local elections policy

Local elections policy maps

Phone the Bylaws Officer on (07) 577 7000.

When erecting local election signs on private property the Temporary Signs provision applies (Rule 4D.2.1).  Signs may be any size, however, location may be controlled where a sign qualifies as a building (over 2m in height) or requires a building consent.

Election signage is permitted in Open Space Zones only where it is provided for under policies on reserve signage.

Last Reviewed: 03/03/2017