Election Sign Guidelines

Election Sign Guidelines for 2019 Election

Election signs can be referred to as hoardings, posters, signs or other similar types promotion that are used to display information relating to the election of a candidate(s).      

The Council's District Plan  (Part B Section 3) provides information around the installation of election signs as temporary signs within the Matamata-Piako District.   

The District Plan states that ‘Signage’ shall include all symbols, artwork and structures including balloons, blimps, banners and flags designed to attract the attention of the public and/ or advertise the goods, services or activities on the site.

Freestanding signage shall include any structure including balloons, blimps, banners and flags separate from and not supported by any building on the site. This includes freestanding signs placed on a stationary trailer and trailers whose sole purpose is signage.

Candidates may put up temporary electoral signage (as a permitted activity) in the Matamata-Piako District Council area provided that they meet the following requirements:

  1. Signs do not exceed 3m² in area. 
  2. All signs must be located on private property with the consent of the property owner. Signs are not permitted in a public place, on public buildings or any road reserve.
  3. Form and letter height must be consistent with the specifications set out in clauses 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the Electoral (Advertisements of a Specified Kind) Regulations 2005 for a sign that is visible from any road (includes both state highways and local roads). Refer page 22 of the Candidate Handbook.
  4. Signs cannot be erected any earlier than two months before polling day (being Monday 12 August 2019) and must be removed by 12 midnight the day preceding polling day (being Friday 11 October 2019).
  5. Signs cannot obstruct a drivers vision, cause confusion or distraction to drivers or create a situation hazardous to the safe movement or direction of traffic. If this occurs, Council will require modification or relocation of the sign.

Resource consent will be required if these requirements are not met.

Signs located on State highway road reserve

The placement of a sign within State Highway road reserve must be approved by the Transport Agency prior to being erected. Signs must meet the criteria below in accordance with the Electoral (Advertisements of a Special Kind) Regulations 2005, the Local Electoral Act 2001, the Transport Agency Signs on State Highways Bylaw 2010, The Transport Agency Advertising signs and road safety: design and location guidelines and the Transport Agency Traffic Control Devices Manual Part 3 Advertising Signs. https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/resources/traffic-control-devices-manual/docs/part-3-advertising-signs.pdf .

The criteria are as follows:

  • Signs located on a motorway or State highway road reserve are not permitted in speed  environments of 70kph or above
  • Vehicle mounted signs situated on motorways or State highways are not permitted;
  • Signs within the State highway road reserve in a speed environment less than 70kph, must:
  • Not exceed 1 square metre in area, or 2 metres for any edge dimension;
  • Not use reflective material, have internal or external illumination nor any moving parts or a dynamic or flashing display;
  • Not be more than 2.5 metres above  the  road or ground (measured  from the bottom  edge  of  the sign);
  • Not be closer than 5 metres from the edge of the carriageway;
  • Not be located within 100m of an intersection or pedestrian crossing;
  • Not imitate or be of a design, form or colour similar to any traffic signs;
  • Be positioned at a right angle to the State highway;
  • Have lettering and symbols at least 120 millimetres in height;
  • Have spacing between lines of text of at least 50mm;
  • Be located generally giving consideration to visibility and other traffic safety aspects;
  • Have no more than 6 words, or 40 characters;
  • Not be erected for longer than 9 weeks prior to the election day
  • If required, have the approval of the relevant local authority.

The Transport Agency reserves the right to approve or decline the erection of any sign.

Signs erected within State Highway road reserve in a location or a manner likely to cause distraction or a danger to road users may be removed by the Transport Agency without prior notice. Where a sign is removed by the Transport Agency the candidate will be advised of its removal. The sign may be redeemed at the candidate's cost.

Signs located on private property adjacent to the State Highway

Signs located on private property adjacent to a State Highway must comply with both the Electoral (Advertisements of a Special Kind) Regulations 2005 and the Electoral Act 2001 but are administered by the relevant local authority. If the sign requires resource consent, approval will be required from the Transport Agency as an affected party under Section 95 of the Resource Management Act.

Signs located on private property adjacent to the State Highway that do not require resource consent from the relevant local authority, do not require approval from the Transport Agency. However, in the interest of road safety, the Transport Agency requests your cooperation in controlling the appearance and location of electioneering signs in accordance with the criteria above. Additionally, in speed environments over 70km/h, it is recommended that signs should not be located within 200m of an intersection or pedestrian crossing.

If you have any further queries, please contact the Transport Agency's Consents and Approvals team on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.