This guidance steps you through the consenting process for bus stops and their associated components.

When resource consents are required

The need for a resource consent depends on the activity status of a bus stop or shelter in the local district plan.

The table below summarises whether a resource consent is required for the activity classes set out in the Resource Management Act 1991.

Resource Management Act 1991, section 87A(external link)

Table: Resource consent requirement by activity class

Activity class

Is a resource consent required?

Permitted activity


Controlled activity


Discretionary activity


Restricted discretionary activity


Non-complying activity


Prohibited activity

No applications can be made, so no resource consent can be granted.

Check the activity status to determine whether a resource consent is required. This can be confirmed by the rules of the district plan or with the relevant council.

Bus stops in the road reserve

Most bus stops will be located in the road reserve. These areas are maintained and controlled by local road controlling authorities.

In most New Zealand cities, the local council is the road controlling authority. Auckland is an exception where Auckland Transport, a council-controlled organisation, is the local road controlling authority with overlapping authority with Auckland Council. Similarly, other road controlling authorities may authorise bus stops on their roads, for instance Waka Kotahi may authorise bus stops on state highways.

Bus stops in private property

A bus stop may need to (or already) be located in private property.

Where a public bus stop needs to be located on private property, local councils or road controlling authorities should enter into an agreement with the private landowner. This is to prevent the landowner restricting access to the bus stop and wasting capital investment.

Where a road controlling authority requires a bus stop, the Public Works Act 1981 provides the Crown with statutory authority to acquire land for a public work.

Public Works Act 1981(external link)

For more information, on acquiring land see:

Land Information New Zealand: Acquisitions for public works(external link)

When building consents are required

Building works, including bus stop shelters, usually require a building consent.

Submit the consent application to the local council or building consent authority.

Councils can allow exemptions from a building consent. For more information, see

Section 42A of the Building Act 2004(external link)