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Electioneering Signs Adjacent to State Highways

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), as road controlling authority for State highways throughout New Zealand, is supported by Council in controlling the location of electioneering signs adjacent to those highways.

Concern for Driver Distraction

The NZTA Board continues to be concerned with the potential for driver distraction arising from signs particularly those adjacent to intersections and along higher speed arterial routes carrying high traffic volumes. From New Zealand and overseas experience, it is clear that there is a direct correlation between indiscriminate signing and increased accident rates on roads, and the NZTA is keen to ensure that electioneering signing for the forthcoming elections does not contribute in any way to the road toll on New Zealand roads.

With this in mind there are some fundamental considerations we would ask you to make when erecting electioneering signs adjacent to state highways. 

Considerations to make for signs adjacent to highways:
Rural Areas
  • In rural areas the signs should be located off the highway reserve. You will, of course, need to consult with property owners and the appropriate local authority to gain any necessary consents. In exceptional situations only, the NZTA may permit erection of signs within the road reserve but this must not be done without the written approval of the NZTA.
Urban Areas
  • In urban areas (where speed limits are 70 km/h or less) you should seek the local authority's approval for erection within or adjoining the road reserve.
Sign Styles and Locations
  • Signs must not be reflectorised, illuminated or erected in such a location that will create an obvious conflict with existing road signs. Signs must not imitate or be of a form similar to any traffic signs. (This is a legal requirement in terms of the Land Transport Act 2003.)
Visibility & Safety
  • The location of signs must give consideration to visibility and other traffic safety aspects.
  • Signs will not be permitted on or adjacent to motorways.
Removal Fee
  • Signs erected on rural State highways in a location or manner likely to cause distraction or danger to road users may be removed by the NZTA or its agents without prior notice. Where a sign is removed by the NZTA the party will then be advised of the action taken and that the sign may be redeemed for a fee of $50 to cover NZTA costs.
Vehicle mounted signs
  • For the above noted safety reasons, vehicle mounted signs situated on State highways are also discouraged by the NZTA.