Naming of Roads, Private Roads & Private Ways Policy


1.0 Purpose

This Policy addresses the naming of roads, private roads and private ways.

2.0 Background

The Local Government Act 1974, Sections 319(1)(j) gives Council authority ‘to name and to alter the name of any road and to place on any building or erection on or abutting on any road a plate bearing the name of the road’. Names are generally required for new roads in subdivisions, or when previously unformed roads are constructed. In certain circumstances private roads and private ways are required to be named. In addition, existing roads, private roads and private ways may be renamed.

This policy defines the requirements for naming roads and private ways in the district.

3.0 Key Definitions

The Local Government Act 1974 defines private way, private road and road as follows:

“private way means any way or passage whatsoever over private land within a district, the right to use which is confined or intended to be confined to certain persons or classes of persons, and which is not thrown open or intended to be open to the use of the public generally; and includes any such way or passage as aforesaid which at the commencement of this Part exists within any district”

private road means any roadway, place, or arcade laid out or formed within a district on private land, whether before or after the commencement of this Part, by the owner thereof, but intended for the use of the public generally”

“road means the whole of any land which is within a district, and which—

a) immediately before the commencement of this Part was a road or street or public highway; or

b) immediately before the inclusion of any area in the district was a public highway within that area; or

c) is laid out by the council as a road or street after the commencement of this Part; or

d) is vested in the council for the purpose of a road as shown on a deposited survey plan; or

e) is vested in the council as a road or street pursuant to any other enactment;

—and includes—

f) except where elsewhere provided in this Part, any access way or service lane which before the commencement of this Part was under the control of any council or is laid out or constructed by or vested in any council as an access way or service lane or is declared by the Minister of Works and Development as an access way or service lane after the commencement of this Part or is declared by the Minister of Lands as an access way or service lane on or after 1 April 1988:

g) every square or place intended for use of the public generally, and every bridge, culvert, drain, ford, gate, building, or other thing belonging thereto or lying upon the line or within the limits thereof;—

but, except as provided in the Public Works Act 1981 or in any regulations under that Act, does not include a motorway within the meaning of that Act or the Government Roading Powers Act 1989

4.0 Policy

4.1 Compliance with Australian / New Zealand Standard

Council expects compliance with the Australian/New Zealand Standard - Rural and Urban addressing AS/NZS 4819:2011 (thereafter referred as the Standard). Where there is conflict with this policy and the before mentioned standard the standard shall prevail.

4.2 Naming of Roads

a) All formed roads shall be named.

b) Unformed roads will only be named if a name is required for addressing purposes.  Properties adjoining an unformed road will be allocated property addresses in terms of the formed road which they are accessed from.

4.3 Naming of Private Roads

Private roads will only be named if more than five primary address sites are, or are likely to be, accessed off the private road.

4.4 Naming of Private Ways

Private ways will only be named   if Land Information New Zealand refuse to accept numbers for the properties off the private way.

4.5 Name Components

Every name shall consist of a name element followed by a road type. The road type shall be selected from Section 4.9 of this Policy.

4.6 The Process for Naming New Roads, Private Roads and Private Ways

The subdivider is invited to submit three names (in order of preference) with reasons for the suggestions, along with details of any consultation undertaken[1].  The Environmental Services Committee will consider the proposed names and determine the road name in the context of this Policy.

4.7 The Process for Renaming Roads, Private Roads and Private Ways and the Naming of Existing Legal but Previously Unformed Roads

a) Any request to rename an existing road/private road/private way or to name an existing but previously unformed legal road will be forwarded to the Group Manager Environmental Services to determine whether the request is appropriate.

If appropriate, the Environmental Services Committee will determine if any further consultation is required having regard to the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy. If no further consultation is required, the Environmental Services Committee will determine the renaming request.

If further consultation is required, the consultation will be conducted by Council staff prior to the renaming being determined by the Environmental Services Committee.

b) When a road, private road or private way is requested to be renamed, a minimum of 80% of the property owners on that road/private road/private way must approve of the change, unless Council’s Environmental Services Committee determines otherwise. There is no guarantee that a request will be approved.

C) Where a road/private road/private way is physically realigned and requires renaming, the approval of property owners will not be sought. In such a case Council will give advanced warning to property owners of the renaming and will pay for any reasonable costs the landowners incur as a direct result of the renaming.

4.8 Name Selection Criteria

The following factors shall be taken into account when selecting private way, private road and road names under 4 5-4.7:

a) Local historical or geographical significance.

b) Well known, or previously well known, names of farms or properties located  on the land to which the new road relates, or in its vicinity

c) Maori names of local significance.  Appropriate consultation and advice from Te Runanga o Arowhenua Society Incorporated should be sought.

d) Names of local residents who have achieved prominence in their chosen fields such as arts, sport, commerce, politics, local government, military, etc.  Naming after persons living is generally avoided.  Permission of surviving relatives should be obtained where appropriate.

e) Continuing an established theme in a neighbourhood.

f) A significant feature in the area (for example, geographical feature, landscape, flora, fauna).  Naming after features which do not exist in the area should be avoided (for example, naming after native trees or plants that are not evident in the area, or views that cannot be identified).

g) Where an existing road is being extended, the road extension will be the same as that of the existing road.

h) Names cannot be offensive, racist, derogatory or demeaning.

i) Diacritical marks, special characters, hyphens, numerals, suffixes, prefixes and directional indicators shall not be used in road name.

j) All road signs for private ways shall be annotated “Private” at the applicants expense.

k) The Council may not necessarily accept the marketing name for a development as a road name for any road within a development.

l) The name element of a road name, regardless of any difference in the road type, shall not be the same spelled similar or sound similar to a road already in existence within the District.  Proposed road names will be checked against Councils Road Assessment and Maintenance Management database[2] to avoid duplication.

4.9 Road Name Types

a) Road name types shall be selected as outlined in Appendix B Road Types –AS/NZS 4819:2011 as follows:

Road Type



Open ended


Pedestrian only



Usually narrow roadway in a city or towns.




Covered walkway with shops along the sides




Broad roadway, usually planted on each side with trees.




Wide roadway, well paved, usually ornamented with trees and grass plots




Roadway that generally forms a circle; or a short enclosed roadway bounded by a circle.




Short enclosed roadway.





Short enclosed roadway, usually surrounded by buildings.





Crescent shaped roadway, especially where both ends join the same thoroughfare.




Wide roadway without many cross-streets.




Level roadway along the seaside, lake, or a river.




Roadway usually in a valley of trees.




Roadway often leading to a grassed public recreation area.





Roadway that features a group of trees standing together.





Main thoroughfare between major destinations.




Narrow roadway between walls, buildings or a narrow country roadway.



Roadway that diverges from and rejoins the main thoroughfare.




Wide walkway, usually with shops along the sides.




Roadway in a group of houses.





Public roadway or promenade that has good pedestrian facilities along the side.




Short, sometimes narrow, enclosed roadway.





Wide flat walkway, usually along the water’s edge.




Roadway alongside or projecting into the water.




Roadway going to a higher place or position.




Open roadway primarily for vehicles.




Roadway which generally forms a square shape, or an area of roadway bounded by four sides.




Walkway consisting mainly of steps




Public roadway in an urban area, especially where paved and with footpaths and buildings along one or both sides.




Roadway on a hilly area that is mainly flat.




Walkway in natural setting.




Thoroughfare for pedestrians.




Short enclosed roadway.




A roadway on a wharf or pier.

b) An individual’s full name will only be used where the name is of reasonable length and the first name needs to be used to correctly identify the individual being commemorated.  Full names longer than 15 letters will not usually be considered.  In these instances, consideration will be given to using only the surname.

c) Short names for short streets are suggested for practical reasons.

d) Symbols intended to add emphasis to a letter e.g. à should not be used, to ensure the clarity of signs is maximised.

4.10 Sign Specifications

When the new road, private road or private way name is confirmed, the sign is required to comply with the Council Road Name Sign Specifications.

4.11 Sign Costs

a) The cost of sign(s) and their installation will be met by:

  • The person requesting the naming or renaming of existing private roads and private ways; or
  • Council: for previously unformed roads and roads being renamed; or when naming has occurred as a result of LINZ not agreeing to number a property(s) on the private road/way; or if agreed by Council’s Land Transport Manager.

b) Ornamental road signs and ornamental development area signs will not be allowed in the road reserve. If a developer erects their own ornamental road and development area name sign(s)[1]on private property, in addition to the Council road name sign, and that ornamental road name sign is damaged, stolen, or needs maintenance or repair,  Council will  not be responsible for carrying out any such work or paying for any associated costs.

4.12 Registration of Road Names

In accordance with Section 319A of the Local Government Act 1974, if the Council names any road, private road or private way for the first time, or alters the name of a road, private road or private way, the Council will as soon as practicable send a copy of the relevant resolution to the Registrar-General of Land and the Surveyor-General.

(1] Three proposed road names with the same name component but different road types are not acceptable. e.g. Poplar Street, Poplar Close, Poplar Place would not be considered three different road names.

[2] Road Assessment and Maintenance Management Software

[3] The erection of an ornamental name sign or post may require a resource consent under the Timaru District Plan. If the sign is to be positioned within road reserve, it will also require consent from Council to occupy the road reserve under Local Government Act 1974. Applications for these consents will be considered on its merits, may or may not be granted.

Adopted Environmental Services Committee 24 July 2018

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021