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Auckland's sign controversy

It seems city councils around the world are tightening up on the signage by-laws and Auckland is the latest city to fire broadsides at the sign industry with threats of reducing and/or eliminating city signage.

The council, claiming it wants to tidy up the city and remove unnecessary sign clutter has by-passed the elected spokesbody for the New Zealand sign industry, the New Zealand Sign & Display Association and made unilateral decisions in this regard. A ruffled industry and NZSDA has fired its own broadsides at the bureaucrats accusing them of ignoring the NZSDA in these recommendations.

Key council changes for the signs bylaw:

new controls for signs above verandas, especially in mixed use zones, business zones 1, 2, 3, and the central area (CBD).
rules limiting signage for each business to an area based on the street frontage that the business occupies
introduction of a selection of approved sign types
requirement for all signs to comply with the bylaw within 18 months.

Key changes for the billboard bylaw:

all free-standing billboards prohibited in the central area
billboards on buildings will not be allowed in the Queen Street Valley area, but will be allowed elsewhere in the central area
requirement for all billboards to comply with the bylaw within 18 months, unless they are in areas with centre plans or character overlays in which case they must comply within 12 months.

The NZSDA asked for details and document copies on how the council came to the many negative conclusions regarding the city signage and in response the council asked the NZSDA to pay nearly NZ$4500.00 in costs in order to retrieve this information.

In addition council has hidden by its Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act by saying they are not required by law to provide information requested by the NZSDA.

Final council decisions are still pending.

New Zealand Sign & Display Association
www.signs.org.nz