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Naming of Streets, Roads & Private Ways Policy

1.0    Purpose

This policy outlines the requirements for selecting names for new roads and previously unformed roads, and for renaming existing roads.

2.0    Background

The Local Government Act 1974, Sections 319(j) and 319A gives Council authority to  name roads.  Names are generally required for new roads in subdivisions, or when previously unformed roads are constructed.  In addition, existing roads may be renamed.

This policy defines the requirements for naming roads in the district.

3.0    Key Definitions

The Local Government Act 1974 defines private way 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”

“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       New Roads

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 Resource Planning and Regulation Committee will consider the submission and determine the road name in the context of the Name Selection Criteria and Style Guide and the Australian/New Zealand Standard - Rural and Urban Addressing.

(1) Note that the three different road names shall each be distinctly different. Suggesting the same name with three different road types e.g. Poplar Street, Poplar Close, Poplar Place would not be considered three different road names.

4.2       Private Ways

While it is Council policy not to directly name private ways, if names are to be allocated to private ways then the names shall be in accordance with the Approval Criteria and Style Guide.

4.3       Renaming Roads and Naming of Existing Legal but Previously Unformed Roads

(a)   The request to alter existing road names or to name existing but previously unformed legal roads will be forwarded to the Group Manager Regulatory Services to determine whether the request is appropriate.  If agreed then it will be recommended to the Resource Planning and Regulation Committee to decide on the road name.  The Resource Planning and Regulation Committee will decide the appropriate level of consultation in accordance with the Council Significance and Engagement Policy and Section 82 of the Local Government Act 2002.

(b)    When a road is requested to be renamed, a minimum of 85% of residents/property owners on that road must approve of the change.

4.4       Name Selection Criteria

The following factors shall be taken into account when selecting street and road names under 4.1 - 4.3:

(a)   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)   Where more than one road is being created in a subdivision, a common theme is recommended for the names. 

(g)  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). 

(h)  Where an existing street is being extended, the street extension will be the same as that of the existing street.

(i)   Names cannot be offensive, insensitive or commercially based. 

(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)   A new road shall not be named the same, or sound similar to a road already in existence within the District.  Proposed road names will be checked against Councils RAMMS (2) database to avoid duplication.

(2)  Road Assessment and Maintenance Management Software

4.5      Style Guide for Names

To ensure a consistent standard of road naming, the following style guide should be applied:

(a)   In general the “road type” of a road/private way will reflect the public/private nature of a road, or the geography of the area and in accordance with the naming guide below:

Type of Road

Road Name

Relatively short, Cul-de-sacs

Place, Court, Close, Grove, Way, Courtyard, Rise

Loop Road to same Street

Crescent, Loop, Circle

Rural Road


Long cul-de-sacs, Through Roads

Road, Street, Drive, Ridge, Terrace

Narrow Road, Service Lane


Wide spacious roads

Avenue, Boulevard, Parade

Street in Commercial areas

Arcade, Mall, Plaza, Square, Street, Road

Short Road leading to water


Rural State Highway


The above is a guide only and people are welcome to make other suggestions.  However, it is Council’s prerogative to name streets and the Council may refuse to approve names considered unsuitable for any reason.

(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.

4.6      Compliance with Australian/ New Zealand Standard

Compliance with the Australian/New Zealand Standard - Rural and Urban addressing AS/NZS 4819:2011 is mandatory.  Where there is conflict with this policy and the before mentioned standard, the standard shall prevail.

4.7      Road Name Sign Specifications

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

4.8      Cost Allocation

For new roads in subdivisions the developer shall pay Council for the required sign(s) and installation.  For existing legal but previously unformed roads and roads being renamed Council shall meet the cost of sign(s) and installation.

4.9      Ornamental Road Name Signs

If a developer erects their own ornamental name sign(s) and/or post, in addition to the Council name sign, and that ornamental name sign is damaged or stolen, then Council shall not be responsible for the repair or replacement of that name sign.

These sign types should ordinarily be positioned on private property (or the property boundary).

If a developer requires a sign to be positioned within the road reserve, an application must be submitted to Council for consideration.  The application may, or may not approved.

4.10    Lodgement of Road Names

In accordance with section 319A of the Local Government Act 1974, if the Council names any road for the first time, or alters the name of a road, the Council will as soon as practicable send a copy.

Adopted 1 December 2015 Resource Planning and Regulation Committee

Publish Date: 15 Dec 2015