A sign doesn't require a building consent if no single face of the sign is over 6 square metres, and it is no higher than 3 metres above supporting ground level.
The term 'surface area' in subclause (a) of this exemption refers to a single face of the sign. For example, the exemption would allow you to build a freestanding sign up to 2 metres by 3 metres and displaying information on both sides.
To work out the height of your sign and make sure it is within the 3 metre height limit for this exemption, measure the vertical distance between the highest point at the top of the sign and the lowest point of the supporting ground below the sign.
Also refer to 12.2. (signs) regarding building work for which the design has been carried out or reviewed by a chartered professional engineer.
If you are proposing to put signs on heritage or character buildings or in urban areas, it is important to check with the local council first. There may be restrictions in the council's district plan (made under the Resource Management Act 1991) on the type of signs you can construct without first having to obtain a resource consent.
What is exempt
- A new 1 square metre sign attached to the side of a building, where the highest point of the sign is no more than 3 metres above the supporting ground level.
- A 2 square metre freestanding sign located outside a café, where the highest point of the sign is 2 metres above the ground.
- A 4 square metre roadside billboard, where the highest point of the billboard is no more than 3 metres above the supporting ground level.
What needs consent
- Installing a 20 square metre sign that has not been designed by a chartered professional engineer. As the sign is greater than 6 square metres in surface area, a building consent is required.
- Replacing a 4 square metre sign attached to a commercial building 6 metres above the supporting ground level. As the sign is more than 3 metres above the supporting ground level, this will require a building consent.
What the law says
1. Building work in connection with a sign (whether free-standing or attached
to a structure) and any structural support of the sign if:
(a). no face of the sign exceeds 6 square metres in surface area; and
(b). the top of the sign does not exceed 3 metres in height above the
supporting ground level.