How we create bylaws

Find out how Hutt City Council creates bylaws.


Local authorities have the power to make bylaws given to them by sections 145 to 148 of the Local Government Act 2002.

The process for making a bylaw under the Local Government Act 2002 requires a council to take the following steps:

Step one

Determine whether a bylaw is the most appropriate way of addressing the perceived problem – there must be a perceived problem that needs addressing:

  1. This should be discussed in a council policy paper that identifies the problem, the range of existing regulatory tools available and their limitations.
  2. The relative merits of any other non-regulatory options should also be considered. If a bylaw is the most appropriate solution:

Step two

A draft bylaw is developed:

  1. This involves considering the different forms a bylaw could take (e.g. standalone, amendment to existing, consolidation of other bylaws), the scope of the bylaw, and the powers it confers on the council.
  2. It is important to confirm the proposed bylaw is within the scope of the empowering provisions that allow the council to make the bylaw.
  3. It can also include early engagement with the community particularly those with a specific interest in the bylaw. For example, dog owners and the Dog Control Bylaw.

Step 3

Assess whether the draft bylaw gives rise to any implications under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 . A bylaw must not be inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

Step 4

Determine which consultation process must be used, based on the council’s Significance and Engagement Policy (Pdf)

Step 5

Consult using the Special Consultative Procedure – Section 83 of LGA (Pdf)

Special consultative procedure (SCP)

The special consultative procedure (SCP) under the Local Government Act 2002 must be used if the bylaw concerns a matter identified in the policy as being of significant interest, or if the council considers the bylaw is likely to have a significant impact on the public.

In all other cases, the council must consult in a manner that gives effect to the requirements of section 82 of the LGA 2002. This means that section 82A of that Act applies and must be adhered to.

Process for making a bylaw under other legislation

The process above may differ if a bylaw is being made under another enactment. Some Acts require bylaws to be made as if they were created under the Local Government Act 2002 (e.g. the Health Act, the Dog Control Act and the Waste Minimisation Act).

Some have modified procedures (e.g. the Freedom Camping Act and Prostitution Reform Act). Some provide no specified procedures at all (Litter Act); the process for these should generally conform with the Local Government Act 2002.

Care must be taken to ensure all relevant procedural aspects are followed if the council proposes making a bylaw under an act other than the Local Government Act.

For more information

Procedure for making a bylaw