Stock on Roads and Stock Underpasses
What's the problem?
As a beautiful rural district, agriculture makes up a significant portion of our economy. Farming and the management of stock is an integral part of Manawatu so Council needs to ensure that farmers are supported to undertake their work efficiently and safely.
However, we also have a responsibility to ensure that these activities don’t have a detrimental effect on the roading network or safety of road users.
In this section, we are focusing on the following activities:
Stock droving: to lead or move untethered stock from place to place along or across a road, and includes the leading of stock in mobs or herds, or singly or in small groups. This does not include horse-riding or any animal being led by a bridle, halter, collar or similar restraint.
Stock crossing: means the movement of stock from one side of a road to the other side at a fixed point or location.
Stock underpass: a structure (tunnel) that allows for stock to be moved under a road
What have we considered?
Following an initial proposal in 2020 to update our bylaw about stock movements on roads, we listened to the strong views of our farming community which argued the proposals simply weren’t workable.
We’ve worked closely with the farming community to explore other options and come up with proposals which look to allow farmers the flexibility to manage and move their stock in a way that doesn’t present adverse risk to other road users.
Stock droving and stock crossing are proposed to be allowed in rural areas, as long as the activity meets a set of conditions as set out in the bylaw.
Some specific changes include:
- The requirement for a Traffic Management Plan to be submitted to Council before droving stock has been removed.
- The requirement for at least two experienced stock handlers to accompany the stock has been reduced to at least one experienced stock handler
- Stock handlers must provide advance warning of stock being on a road to road users by way of signs located at least 3 times the permanent speed limit for that road – for example, a 300metre distance for a 100km/h speed limit – in front and behind the droving activity.
- There are no longer limits on the number of stock in any one ‘mob’, however they must not be so large that they cause unreasonable delay to traffic, or cause the stock handler to lose control of the stock.
- The provision that stock owners are responsible for any damage caused by their stock during droving activities has been added.
- Any stock droving activity proposed that does not meet these conditions must receive written consent from Council to occur.
- The requirement to apply for a Stock Crossing Permit has been removed
- The requirement for at least one experienced stock handler to be present whilst stock are crossing the road.
- Stock handlers must provide advanced warning of stock crossing the road to road users with signed located no more than 150 metres in front and behind the location of the crossing.
- Mats must be used to protect the road from any damage.
- The provision that stock owners are responsible for any damage caused by their stock during crossings has been added.
- Any stock crossing activity proposed that does not meet these conditions must receive written consent from Council to occur.
- Consent must be granted by Council for the construction of any new stock underpasses and these must be constructed in accordance with Council’s Engineering Standards and any applicable regulatory consents.
- The landowner is responsible for the maintenance and repair of any stock underpass on their property. Written consent from the Council must be gained if any maintenance work might have an impact on the road above
- If a landowner wishes to decommission a stock underpass, they must apply in writing to the Council and fees may apply.
- Decommissioning work must be carried out by appropriately qualified contractors.
- The creation of a Covenant instrument to ensure all parties involved are aware of key responsibilities.