Creating new boundaries

Creating new boundaries

Creating new boundaries


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new boundaries

Fences and walls

Love them or hate them, fencing and boundary walls

are an integral feature of your garden. They offer a

number of practical solutions for your property, as

well as enhancing your home and neighbourhood.

However, before building one, I would recommend

you consider the following questions. These will help

you to define the function of the fence, so you can

then choose the type and style of fence, which will fit

those requirements.

Why do I need a fence?



To keep pets and children safe?

Define your boundaries

Reduce traffic noise?

Create spaces within the garden?

To shelter me from the wind?

To keep my pool area safe?

There are also a number of important legal issues

to consider, especially if you are building a fence

that you share with a neighbor or if you live in

an area with a residential zone that has specific

fencing rules.Fencing is covered by the fencing Act

1978 and the Fencing Amendment Act 1979.

written by Sandra Batley - Flourish

Section 21. Give and take fence. When occupiers

cannot agree on a fence line, the court can decide

using a give and take principle.

Section 22. Where the fence is to be built. The

middle of the fence must be put on the boundary

line, or as near as practicable.

Section 26. About the rights of persons (and their

equipment) constructing the fence to go on to the

adjoining land. Note: It is important to read each

section of the act to get the full explanation.

Fence design

When choosing the style of fence, it is important to

compliment the architecture of house, the

surrounding landscape and neighbourhood.

Consider matching materials that are used in your

home exterior. You are not just limited to traditional

materials like timber. Take a look around and you

will see a huge variation of fences using materials

such as, corrugated iron, natural stone and slat,

rock, brick, glass, coloursteel, concrete, and

lightweight alloys.

Key points to be aware of

Section 9. Occupiers of adjoining land must share

the cost and work on a dividing fence.

Section 10. You can compel your neighbour to

contribute to the cost of a shared fence.

Section 11. Allows you to object to an order

compelling you to contribute to the cost of a joint


Section 14. This covers how long you have to do

the work on a fence after being ordered to do it.

Section 18. Persons taking advantage of a fence.

This covers a person benefiting from a fence they

didn’t contribute to. They can be charged interest of

10%/year on half the value of the fence at the time

of serving a notice.


You will also need to consider your budget. There

is a significant difference in cost between a timber

paling fence and a concrete block wall. If you are

on a budget, then a basic timber paling fence

painted or left in its natural state and softened

with shrubs or climbers is a good solution. Ask a

professional landscape designer or architect for

their ideas. And get a couple of quotes from

reputable landscape contractors or builders before

getting started.


If its privacy you require, then solid materials such

as timber boards, brick, stone, concrete, and

corrugated iron would work well. In most cases

you can build a fence or wall to 1.8m high on the

boundary. Anything higher will require a resource

consent. You can achieve varying degrees of

privacy by using timber in a louver-style or an

open slat style or trellis to create a sense of

openness. Wrought iron is strong, enduring

material that fits in with a number of looks. You

can also create a living fence and windbreak

using plants. They provide all the benefits of a

built fence, with the additional advantage of

flowers, foliage and scent. There are a number of

shrubs and trees both native and exotic that grow

superbly in a number of situations, such as;

Griselina littoralis



Photina ‘Red robin’


Eugenia ventinati

Podocarpus totora


If security is important to you and your family, then

once again opt for high solid fence This may give

you the feeling of security, however, sometimes it

may have the opposite effect. Imagine how much

easier it is for intruders to target a house that is

not visible from the street or properties nearby.

Trellis, wrought iron or glass inserts can provide

views in and out of the property, while living areas

still remain private. Apparently, having a place that

is open, instead of fenced in, is less likely to be

broken into, thereby minimizing burglaries. Also,

having a high fence around your property can

block out valuable light and create shady areas

within your garden.

Safety for pets and children

Pets and children need to be kept save on your

property. A fence that is solid and well

constructed provides an effective solution. The

height of the fence is important. Children can

easily scale a low fence and dogs can leap over

and quickly escape. A solid fence ensures little

dogs can’t squeeze through the gaps. Gates will

need to be also installed across the driveway and

in openings around the property.

Defining boundaries

As properties get smaller and in-fill housing

becomes more commonplace, boundaries are

firmly declared with fences or walls. Issues with

privacy from neighbours have become a common

problem for homeowners. Fencing alone does not

solve this problem. Clever and intelligent planting

can offer some additional privacy as well has

softening the harsh lines between homes.

Reduce traffic noise

A wall can help to reduce the noise of traffic if you

live near a busy road. The wall must be solid with

no penetrations in order to be effective. Any

penetration, opening or gate can lessen the

effectiveness of the barriers. Concrete walls are

preferred but you can use other materials.

Spaces within the garden

Fences or screens give you the opportunity to

create and define outdoor rooms within your

property They give protection from the weather to

provide sheltered entertainment and seating

areas. Microclimates can be created for potages

or cold sensitive planting themes.

Protection from the wind

High walls or fencing can also act as a buffer from

prevailing winds but they do not completely block

them out. The wind simply hits the solid fence with

full force, surges over and causes worse

turbulence on the lee side. However, a slatted

screen or spaces left in a wall or fence, allows the

air currents to pass through it, reducing its force.

Pool fencing

If you own a pool or spa you are required under

the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 and

Building Act 2004 to erect a 1.2m high fence to

completely enclose the pool or spa area. There

are a number of other regulations that you must

adhere to prevent children entering a pool area

unsupervised. Some council’s have additional,

differing requirements. I would highly recommend

you arm yourself with all the information about

pool fencing before you start a landscape project

of this scale. There are a range of fencing

materials available including glass, wrought iron

and stainless steel. The design and finish

depends on what you want to achieve.

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