Home-Based Businesses

Activities which generate medium to high movements of traffic, noise, light and other effects are generally not permitted in residential areas.

Traffic generation

The District Plan has limits on the number of vehicle movements to and from a site. This is because excessive movements may have an adverse impact on road users' safety, increase noise levels, cause possible sleep deprivation and/or damage to the road and pavement.

Traffic generation to and from a site is measured in vehicle equivalent movements (VEM) and is based on vehicle type as follows:

  • Car = 2 VEM.  
  • Truck = 6 VEM.
  • Truck and trailer = 10 VEM.

The maximum permitted traffic generation is:

  Site with access off a local road  Site with access off a main road 
Total over 24 hrs 30 VEM 108 VEM
Day (7am-10pm) 22 VEM 100 VEM
Night (10pm-7am) 8 VEM 16 VEM


Some home-based employment activities may require car parking which is additional to the residential requirements.

Activity  Parking requirements 
Dwelling house Up to four bedrooms = two parks
Five or more bedrooms = three parks
Home occupation What is needed for the dwelling house plus extra parking for every 30m²
used for non-residential purposes plus one space per staff

When creating additional parking spaces, remember to ensure there is safe access from the road with adequate on-site manoeuvring so that vehicles can leave the site facing forward (that is they do not have to reverse onto the road).

Please check Appendix 23 of the District Plan for specifications of parking spaces and manoeuvring, loading, standing and queuing spaces.


The maximum size for signs in a residential environment area is 0.5m² for every 20m of road boundary per site, at a maximum height of 2.4m. These limitations aim to preserve the character of the residential environment, keeping it free from visual obstruction and clutter. For specific rules relating to the location and appearance of signs see the District Plan.


Residential areas tend to be fairly quiet and there are limits as to how much noise an activity can make in these areas e.g. a joinery business would need to meet the noise standards below.

Environment  7am-10pm  10pm-7am 
Environment <>1050 Decibels <>10 40 Decibels
Rural * <>10 50 Decibels <>10 45 Decibels

* Measured at a 20m radius from a house or the legal boundary of the site.


Light overspill may be a nuisance in a residential area where it interferes with the sleep patterns of residents of adjoining properties.

The District Plan details the maximum level of light overspill from a residential property. A Council Officer can monitor this with a light meter.

Screening from neighbours/road

Outdoor storage areas visible from the road or from adjoining properties may need to be screened by landscaping. Where screening is required you have three options:

  • Option 1: A solid fence or wall of at least 1.8m high.
  • Option 2: A continuous screen of trees at least 1.5m at planting.
  • Option 3: A combination of options 1 and 2.

Hazardous substances

There are limits on the storage, use and manufacture of all kinds of potentially hazardous substances. When applying for a resource consent we will look at the proximity of the location to sensitive features such as schools, as well as site design and risk management.

Regional council requirements

Taranaki Regional Council processes resource consents for activities that:

  • Take, use, dam or divert water.
  • Discharge contaminants onto or into land, air or water.
  • Erect, use or disturb structures in the coastal marine area.
  • Erect, use or disturb structures in, on, under or over river or lake beds.
  • Install groundwater bores or wells.

Please contact TRC if you think your activity may involve any of these activities and they will be able to advise you as to whether or not a resource consent from them would be required.

Other requirements for home-based activities

In addition to the District Plan’s requirements, activities such as preparing food or hairdressing require a health licence. Some home-based businesses also require a backflow preventer and water meter.

Most building and plumbing work will require building consents.