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Heart of the City (HOTC) Submission to Auckland Council’s Proposed New Signs Bylaw

Wednesday 27 Oct 2021


Heart of the City (HOTC) is the business association for Auckland’s city centre and we represent the interests of businesses and property owners.  We are committed to the growth and success of the city centre as a vibrant, accessible, safe and welcoming urban community.


Our feedback focuses on Portable Signs (Clause 11.2 of the proposed new signs bylaw 2022) with the proposal to increase the current portable sign prohibited area to cover the entire City Centre Zone.

HOTC supports the prioritisation of accessibility and amenity in the city centre and has supported previous bylaws’ prohibition of portable signs in the core Central Area (most recently defined in Appendix 2 of the Auckland City Council Signs Bylaw 2007).

However, with a wide range of different street types and functions in the city centre, and as the city grows and evolves, we believe that a blanket prohibition across the wider City Centre Zone is a blunt tool that doesn’t give consideration to the full context of each area within it.

We believe that a more granular and nuanced approach should be taken to the question of where portable signage is appropriate or not. This could contribute to the development of appropriate criteria for consideration, which could include footpath width, pedestrian numbers, street amenity, micro-mobility device usage, business use of the area and traffic counts.

We note that the 2020 Review Findings Report on the Signage Bylaw 2015 states that “if there is a decision to amend the current bylaw, the Karangahape Road Business Association and Heart of the City would be consulted about creating more consistent rules for portable signs across the central area.” This has not occurred.

Our request is that there is direct engagement with HOTC on the proposal and our proposed approach before the bylaw is finalised.

We would also like to raise the issue of equity for businesses. With a blanket city centre prohibition, there is the potential for city-centre businesses to be disadvantaged compared to other business areas operating in comparable street environments in other parts of Auckland. Application of criteria as above could help to resolve this issue.