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Aucklanders asked to have their say on plans to introduce new rules about beehives in the city

Published: 8 June 2021

From today, Auckland Council is inviting Aucklanders to let us know their thoughts on proposed changes to the Animal Management Bylaw 2015, which will introduce a new limit on the number of beehives people can have in urban areas.

Rule changes will mean that beekeepers in urban Auckland must seek council approval to keep more than two standard beehives on a land area less than 2000 square metres.

The purpose of the Animal Management Bylaw is to have rules about animal ownership to minimise risks to public health and safety, nuisance, offensive behaviour and the misuse of council-controlled public places.

Council Regulatory Committee Chair, Councillor Linda Cooper says: “The new rules seek to find a balance between enabling urban beekeeping and minimising the nuisance caused by bees.

“Bee poo and bee pollen have become quite an irritation for some Aucklanders since the rise in popularity of beekeeping over recent years, and the introduction of hive limits will help address the problem while future-proofing the bylaw.

“Aucklanders will still be able to keep more than two beehives through the approval system, which helps make sure beehives are in suitable places,” says Councillor Cooper.

The main proposed changes to the bylaw are:

  • requiring an approval to keep more than two standard beehives on urban premises with a land area less than 2000 square metres. Currently no approval is required;
  • incorporating rules from another bylaw about the feeding of animals on private property;
  • updating the bylaw definitions, structure and wording to make it easier to understand.

Council has already heard a range of views about limits on beehives in urban areas and is seeking feedback on the following:

  • allowing more or fewer beehives without an approval than the proposed two;
  • limits for different sized urban premises than the proposed 2000 square metres.

Under the proposed Animal Management Bylaw, if a person wants to own more than two standard beehives, then they can apply online for an animal management license. This will operate in a similar way to other animal management licenses, such as stock animals.

People applying for an animal management license pay a fee and will need to have a scaled site plan showing where the animals would be contained on the property.

After the application is submitted, compliance officers would consider matters including:

  • beehive location and the size and suitability of the site;
  • flight path of the bees when foraging;
  • housing for the bees and potential nuisance to neighbours.

Consultation on the proposed bylaw changes runs from Tuesday 8 June until Friday 16 July 2021, after which the views of Aucklanders will be considered before the bylaw is finalised.

Visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/have-your-say for more information, to give feedback and to find out where drop in ‘have your say’ events will be.

Free internet access is available at council libraries or contact us by phoning 09 301 0101.

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