If you're thinking about keeping chickens, lambs or other livestock, or setting up a beehive in urban areas of Selwyn, there are local and national regulations you need to be aware of.

Local regulations come under the Keeping Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw which was adopted by the Council on 12 May 2021. The bylaw allows Selwyn district residents to own animals in a responsible way while minimising impacts on neighbours and protecting public health and safety.


You can keep up to 12 poultry on your urban property but no roosters and peacocks. Poultry is any live domesticated bird such as domestic fowls, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, pheasants, emu, pigeons and ostriches.

You need to make sure that where you keep your poultry is maintained and in a clean condition free from an offensive smell or overflow, and free from vermin.

Pigs, lambs and other stock

What livestock you can keep in urban areas depends on the size of your property. Stock includes any cattle, horse, donkey, ox, pig, sheep, goat, deer, alpaca and llama.

If your urban property is less than 2,000 square metres in area you can keep only lambs less than 6 months of age. For any other stock on urban properties that are less than 2,000 square metres in area you will need a written approval from the Council. Contact us to find out more.

For information on wandering stock, lost and found and impounded stock visit Stock page .


You can keep bees in Selwyn district. Hive placement is important. Locate your hives so they don't become a nuisance or danger to other residents.

The Keeping Animals, Poultry and Bees Bylaw sets out the conditions you need to meet to keep bees in the urban area, including the maximum number of two hives per urban property. However, exemptions will be considered for more hives on properties greater than 1,500 square metres or being located next to a reserve or rural land.

All apiaries must be registered under the Biosecurity (National American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan) Order 1998 and clearly display the beekeeper’s unique registration code. Register here: Apiary Registry

Swarming bees

If you come across swarming bees please contact your local beekeepers through Apiculture New Zealand.