Step 1: You

What you need to know

We aim to ensure Hamilton's parks and reserves are easily accessible to the public. However, if a fence is required between a reserve and private property it should be constructed so it presents a consistent appearance when view from the reserve.

We will not usually contribute to the cost of replacing an existing fence considered adequate as defined by the Fencing Act 1978. Adequate means a fence that is reasonably satisfactory for the purpose it serves. Section 2, Fencing Act 1978. 

Work completion

If you serve the first notice you must do the work or arrange for it to be done. Work must commence within 90 days from the date of email approval. The entire arrangement will lapse if the job is not completed within 90 days of the notice starting date.

Council deals with the adjoining property owners and not their agents or representatives. Council will not contribute to the cost of any fence built before notice has been given or which has been started inside 21 days from the notice being lodged unless the Council has given approval within the period.

Access to council reserve

If you need access over the reserve to build the fence you must receive permission from the Parks and Recreation Unit. A monetary bond will be required to cover repair of any damage to the park that may result. You will be informed of the bond amount by Council staff.

Financial contribution

The fences described are examples of standard fence types. The financial contribution by Council will be limited to a maximum of:

  • 50% of the cost of a standard 1.8 metre high, three rail solid timber standard paling fence, or
  • 50% of the actual cost of an agreed alternative, whichever is less.

This amount will be payable on completion of the fence. The market value of this standard fence will be reassessed yearly in January. We believe either of the above fences or walls will serve most needs but may approve other types if their appearance fits with the neighbouring park. We will never pay more than half the cost of the standard fence type except where it is in the public interest. we will not approve hedges or any other form of living fence due to the high cost of maintenance.


Council's contribution will be made upon the following conditions:

  • That a confirmed cost of the work is included in the notice of intention to fence.
  • Estimates will not be accepted.
  • That the fence is erected in accordance with the fencing application and to the satisfaction of the Parks and Recreation unit.
  • Copies of original receipts are forwarded for materials where you have erected the fence yourself or for materials and/or services where a contractor has been engaged to do the work.
  • If the company or owner is registered for GST, please supply an original tax invoice for the agreed amount of reimbursement so we can claim the GST back.

Please supply a copy of your bank statement header that shows:

  • bank name
  • account holder name
  • account number.

We no longer accept typed or hand written account details for payments.

Required documentation

The following documents will need to be submitted with your request:

  • Bank statement header
  • Itemised quote
  • Before photos (for repair or replacement fence requests)

Fencing and gate construction guidelines

1. Fence style options

Open panel

Panels shall be robust enough to cope with sitting on the boundary of a public park or reserve. Steel panels and posts shall be hot dip galvanised and may be powder coated black or green. However, Council will not be responsible for damage caused to the powder coat finish by park users or age. All posts must be capped to exclude water and be securely concreted in position. All fastenings shall be galvanised. Open panel fences are less prone to graffiti than paling fences.

Standard paling

A paling fence at least one metre high with posts 100 x 75 mm and placed not more than 2.5 metres apart. There should be two rails (three if the fence is higher than one metre), with saw timber palings placed upright and well nailed to both rails. Palings may be close butted or with a gap of no more than 40mm between palings. All rails and palings should be tanalised and the posts ground treated.

Seven wire

A seven wire fence, properly strained, the wire to be 12.5 H.T galvanised or similar. the posts are to be concrete or treated timber placed no more than four metres apart, and the battens or droppers should be of treated timber, metal, or plastic, evenly spaced, and at least three between posts. The top wire is to be at least 1000 mm from ground level, and no barbed wire is to be used.

Mesh fence

Like the seven wire fence but without battens and all wires except the top, middle and bottom ones are replaced by galvanised chain link mesh fixed to the wires at every second mesh row.

Painting fence

Council will not contribute towards painting of the park side of the fence.

2. Approved height

Up to a maximum of 1.8 metres and compliant with the relevant district plan rules and standards. Any fence above two metres requires prior building consent.

3. Gates

You are welcome to build one gate for foot traffic (no wider than one metre and opening away from the reserve) onto the park or reserve but must be approved by Council. Council does not contribute to the cost of gate construction or installation which can be removed by Council at any time without prior notice. This will need to be itemised on the quote.

4. Mowing strip

Council does not object to a mowing strip but will not contribute to the cost of its construction. This will need to be itemised on the quote.

5. Painting and maintenance

Generally, Council does not require the park facing side to be painted however if you would like to paint this side you must receive a written agreement from the Parks and Recreation Unit for the colour scheme. Council is not liable for any initial painting or repainting. We will not pay a share of the maintenance or removal costs of a boundary fence or hedge. If you remove a boundary fence without permission, we will require that you replace it at your expense.

6. Boundaries

If you do not want to fence the whole boundary you will have to describe what you want in your notice to the Parks and Recreation Unit. However, unless there are very good reasons, we are unlikely to pay any part of the cost of a fence which does not extend the full length of the boundary. Council will not pay for a fence which is not exactly on the boundary. If you are not sure where the boundary is, we will be happy to help you with locating it. However, if there are problems fixing the location of the boundary and a surveyor should be engaged, we will regard that as a part of the cost of the fence and you will have to meet an equal share of the fee. We would of course discuss the matter with you before engaging a surveyor.

7. Changes to ground levels or shape

Sometimes earthmoving work may go right up to a boundary and may result in a bank at the common boundary. Council will not meet any of the costs of earthmoving, bank retention, or drains, and such work can only go ahead after written approval from the Parks and Recreation Unit.

Step 2: You

Submit your request

Please note this request must be submitted by the home owner.

Request to

Will there be a gate onto the park or reserve?

Do you need help to locate the boundary?

Will a mowing strip be created?

  • Bank statement header (cannot be handwritten)
  • Itemised quote including:
    • Materials
    • Labour
    • Gate (if applicable, Council does not contribute to the cost of gate construction or installation and the gate can be removed at any time, without prior notice)
    • Mowing strip (If applicable, Council does not contribute to the cost of its construction).
    • GST
    • Total
  • Bank statement header (cannot be handwritten)
  • Itemised quote including:
    • Materials
    • Labour
    • Gate (If applicable, Council does not contribute to the cost of gate construction or installation and the gate can be removed at any time, without prior notice)
    • Fence/rubbish removal
    • Mowing strip (If applicable, Council does not contribute to the cost of its construction).
    • GST
    • Total
  • Before photos
Max file size: 5 MB; Allowed extensions: pdf,doc,docx,jpg,jpeg,png

The personal information that you provide in this form will be held and protected by Hamilton City Council in accordance with our Privacy Statement and with the Privacy Act 1993. The Privacy Statement explains how we can use and share your personal information in relation to any interaction you have with the Council, and how you can access plus correct that information. You should familiarise yourself with this statement before submitting this form. 

Within 21 days after the date of receipt of this notice you may object to any of the above details and then make your counterproposals. If no objection is received, I will proceed with the fencing in accordance with this notice and you may be deemed to have agreed to the proposals set out in this notice and will be liable to share the cost accordingly. This notice is given under the Fencing Act 1978.

Step 3: Council

What happens next

If we disagree with your suggestion, we will reply within 21 days of receiving your request.

If you do not receive a reply from us, you can proceed with the work and we will pay half of the fence cost.

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Last updated 28 August 2023