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Fences and retaining walls

You may need to apply for a building consent and or a resource consent if you are building a retaining wall or putting up a fence.

Retaining walls

A retaining wall is designed specifically to hold soil in place. Retaining walls are often constructed on a boundary or as part of the sub-floor of a building where steep land has been excavated. Backfill and drainage of retaining walls must be constructed and compacted properly to prevent water-logging and damage to the wall, and ensure ground stability.

A retaining wall under construction

Location of fences and retaining walls

When constructing a retaining wall or fence near the boundary of a property including the road frontage, make sure the entire structure, including the footings, are within your property (unless it is a shared structure on the boundary as covered by The Fencing Act 1978).


Fences higher than 2m are defined as “buildings” under the District Plan and specific rules apply. Check the District Plan for more information.

A building consent is required for fences greater than 2.5m in height. A fence up to 2.5m high does not require a building consent; however, all building work must still comply with the New Zealand Building Code.

Swimming pools

If a fence forms part of a swimming pool fence, separate rules and consents apply. See swimming pools for more information.

Boundary fences

NPDC will contribute to the costs of erecting a common boundary fence on reserves or general council property

Find out more