In order to protect the surface of roads across the Hauraki and mitigate complaints, the district council has had a look at updating its stock crossing bylaw.
The new bylaw is proposing to remove the requirement for all stock crossings to have a permit, and will instead be replaced with a tiered system.
No permit will be required where certain conditions are met regarding sight lines, safety, and protection of the road surface; while conditional permits will be required when certain conditions cannot be met, the traffic volume is above a certain limit, the speed limit is above 70kmph, or the road is in an urban area.
According to Hauraki District Council, the busier the road and the more often stock is crossed, the more likely a permit will be needed.
A report presented to council stated that more than 300 level stock crossings in the district were identified, and although the 2007 bylaw required permits, there were no permits in place.
The council had received 21 service requests categorised under ‘stock crossing’ over the past three years, from May, 2019, to May, 2022.
The majority of these requests were regarding effluent left on roads, as well as unmanned crossings.
“At common law, an owner of land adjoining a highway is entitled to access that road at any point at which his land actually touches it, even though the soils of the road are the council’s,” the report said. “It is a nuisance to either obstruct a highway/road or to render it dangerous.
“New Zealand case law has established that those who take animals on to a highway must exercise reasonable care to ensure that the animals do not cause damage.”
Because the majority of complaints received by council regarding stock crossings was regarding effluent left on the road, allowing for most stock crossings to be permitted, with certain standard conditions that should be met, would set “a clear and reasonable standard for stock crossings in the district”, council said.
“This is to protect the safety of road users, to ensure they are given adequate warning of a stock crossing, as well as protect the council’s road surface from damage due to stock traffic and effluent.” It is estimated that this would result in around 220 permitted stock crossings, and 70 requiring stock crossing permits.
DETAILS: Consultation on the proposed bylaw closes June 20. Full bylaw and how to give feedback at Hauraki District Council’s ‘We need to talk’ website: weneedtotalk.hauraki-dc.govt.nz.