Building fences and walls

Find out what you need to do if you're thinking of building a fence.


When you need building consent

In general, if you're building a fence or wall that is more than 2.5 metres high you need to apply for a building consent.

Here are some examples of situations where you need to apply for building consent.:

  • You want to install a 3.5 metre high wire mesh fence around your tennis court, well clear of any boundaries. Because the fence height is more than 2.5 metres, you need a building consent.
  • You want to build a new timber fence with an overall height of 3 metres along the rear boundary of your property. Because the fence height is more than 2.5 metres, you need a building consent.
  • You want to extend a 2.8 metre high concrete block wall alongside a neighbouring boundary. Because the wall height is more than 2.5 metres, you need a building consent.
  • You want to install a new 1.2 metre high fence around a swimming pool. A building consent is required and the fence must be installed before the pool is filled with water. Regular three-yearly inspections will be required from the date of the code compliance certificate.

Note: Some fence work might need resource consent as well as building consent. Get in touch with us if you think you might need both consents.

Apply for building consent now


When you don't need building consent

Any building work relating to fences, garden walls, and hoardings under 2.5 metres high will not need a building consent.

Note: Fences to swimming pools need building consent.


What is exempt

  • Constructing a 2.0 metre high concrete block wall along a boundary to create a private back yard.
  • Building a 2.2 metre high timber paling fence in a back yard to act as a windbreak for a barbeque area.
  • Installing a 2.4 metre high hoarding around a construction site to ensure public safety.
  • A concert organiser proposes to erect mesh fencing 1.8 metres high to stop concert goers getting onto the stage.

Boundary fences

For boundary fences, it's important that you talk to your neighbour to get their agreement on the type of fence and the cost. Both neighbours should share the cost equally. Get any agreements in writing.

If you can't agree with your neighbour, you might need to talk to a lawyer for more information on what to do.

Consumer NZ Fencing act information


For more information