Stock Crossing, Wandering Stock & Road Encroachments

Stock Crossing

For many dairy farmers, the regular crossing of cattle / stock across public roads is vital to the management of their farming operation. Dairying is a significant activity carried out in the district making a significant contribution towards the district and regional economies.

Ideally, stock underpasses are the best option. Although they may be an expense in the short term, long term benefits are that stock are less stressed and can walk down the race without having to be supervised at the road crossing. This saves time and staff resources.

The movement of cattle / stock across both sealed and unsealed roads can have an impact on safety of road users and damage to the road surface.

In accordance with Council’s Policy for Regular Droving of Dairy Stock in Public Places;

  • Folding “Stock Crossing” warning signs be erected either side of the crossing points, at sufficient distance from the crossing points to adequately warn road users. The signs are to be folded closed when the crossings are not in use.
  • An amber flashing light be installed at each crossing point and to be operating whenever stock is crossing the roads.
  • Effluent is to be cleaned off the roads after each crossing of stock. If the road is washed consultation must be held with Horizons Regional Council about the disposal of the washing down water.
  • Stock must be driven across the roads in one movement under the supervision of a responsible person during daylight hours only.
  • If tapes are placed across the road to guide stock, they must be erected immediately prior to the stock crossing and be removed immediately afterwards. The tapes must be placed no higher than 100mm above the road to enable the free passage of traffic.
  • The owners of stock will maintain a public liability insurance policy to protect them and the Council against any claims for damage caused through the stock crossing the roads.
  • The cost of repairing any damage to roads directly attributable to stock crossing roads may be recovered from the owners of the stock.

Council’s Stock Crossing Guidelines, found here, has additional information regarding this activity. 

Wandering Stock

Animals wandering on public roads are a serious hazard for the road users and may damage the road surface. Landowners are responsible for controlling their livestock and preventing them from straying onto neighbouring properties or roadways. 

Stock can be dangerous if left to wander onto roads or into other people's property.  Council will impound stock found on the road at any time of the day or night.

Stock trespassing on private land may be impounded by the landowner and delivered to the pound, which is administered by Council.

If you see stock wandering, please report it as follows.

Local roads: Please call Council on 06 374 4080 or 06 374 5341.

State highways: Please contact the NZ Transport Authority on 0800 444 449.

Emergencies: Please dial 111.

Road Encroachments

In accordance with Council’s Road Encroachment Policy;

Permanent road encroachments will only be permitted where there is a clear benefit to the road, or exceptional circumstances exist.

Applications for permanent encroachment licences must be made on the prescribed form and be accompanied by the prescribed fee. Any licences granted may be subject to any conditions the Council sees fit to impose and will be for a specified term, with no automatic right of renewal.

Temporary road encroachments (for a period of no longer than one month), using electric fences only, will be permitted for the express purpose of clearing excess growth from road reserves.

Every temporary electric fence is to be kept at least 2.5 metres clear of the formed roadway and must be clearly visible to road users. Fencing materials are to be “pigtails”, insultimber stakes, or other approved temporary electric fence materials. Waratah standards are not permitted.

Roadside water tables and drains are to be excluded from the areas fenced for grazing. The cost of repairing any damage to these structures caused by stock grazing road reserves may be recovered from the owners of the stock.

Stock may be grazed only during daylight hours and the power supply to the fence must be disconnected when stock are not grazing. All fencing materials must be removed on completion of the grazing, or when requested to by Council staff. The Council may, without notice, remove any fencing materials not so removed.

The general permission to graze road frontages is subject to the following conditions:

  • that owners of the stock arrange and keep in force public liability insurance to protect any liability for damage occurring to third parties; and
  • that owners of the stock indemnify the Council from any liability arising to the Council as a result of the grazing activity.
  • The Council reserves the right to restrict or prohibit the grazing of specific areas of roadsides, if it is felt necessary, to maintain the integrity of the constructed road or for the safety of road users.