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Residents strongly back neighbourhood signs bylaw

Residents strongly back neighbourhood signs bylaw

An overwhelming majority of Aucklanders are backing their city council’s policy on signs in residential neighbourhoods – and nearly all believe illegal signs should be taken down if a court orders that.

Auckland City Council today released the results of a city-wide telephone poll of 226 respondents, aged 15 plus, conducted on January 18 and 19.

The council probed views on its neighbourhood signs bylaw, and how people feel about court orders to remove illegal signs.

The $1516 poll was conducted to ascertain public opinion on neighbourhood signage policy and because the council takes enforcement seriously, along with the possibility that someone could ultimately lose their liberty if in contempt of court over a bylaw breach.

The poll finds 83% are against changing a bylaw so people can put any sign of any size they wish on their residential properties. Only 12% support this.

Asked if someone should take down an illegal sign if a court instructs them to, 90% say yes. Only 5% say no. (5% don’t know).

Asked how long a court should wait before taking action, after telling someone to take down an illegal sign, 86% say the court should act within a month. 57% say the court should act within a week.

Asked if they would take down offending signs or go to jail if they were in the position of a person who was told to take down an illegal sign and refused for almost a year, 85% said they would take down the signs. 3% only would choose jail. (12% don’t know/ other).

Residents also powerfully backed their council’s current residential signs policy: 82% agree (12% disagree) with a bylaw allowing people to put small signs on their residential properties advertising their own businesses. 82% also agree with the policy allowing people to put larger signs on their residential properties when selling them.


30 January 2003

Auckland City neighbourhood signage public opinion poll

These results are based on a survey conducted on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January, 2003. The survey is of 226 residents of Auckland City.

The results have been weighted to be representative of the Auckland population.

The maximum margin of error for any figure is 7%.


“Hello, my name is _________ calling on behalf of the Auckland City Council.”

“We’re doing a 5-minute survey on issues that affect people who live in Auckland City. Have you got time to help with this now?”

(If not, ask if they are interested and, if so, make a time to call back otherwise thank them for their time)

Current Auckland City Council bylaws allow people to put small signs on their residential property to advertise their own businesses. Do you agree with this?

Code one answer only

Yes 1 82%

No 2 12%

Don’t know 9 6%

These bylaws also allow people to put larger signs on their residential property for the purposes of selling it. Do you agree with this?

Code one answer only

Yes 1 82%

No 2 14%

Don’t know 9 4%

Some people say they should be allowed to put up any sign they want. Others say that if this is allowed Auckland will become less attractive with signs all over the neighbourhood. What are your thoughts on this issue?

Record verbatim comments below

Once they have finished, interpret what they have said and record their answer below. Code one answer only

Generally in support of any signs 1 28%

Generally neutral 2 42%

Generally against any signs 3 26%

Other 4 2%

Don’t know 9 1%

Would you support a bylaw change so that people could put any sign of any size they wish on their residential property?

Code one answer only

Yes 1 12%

No 2 83%

Don’t know 9 5%

If the court instructs someone to take down an illegal sign, should they take it down?

Code one answer only

Yes 1 90%

No 2 5%

Don’t know 9 5%

If the court tells someone to take down an illegal sign, how long should the court wait before taking further action?

Do not read, but code their answer. If they do not give a specific answer at first, ask them to give a length of time

Immediately 1 12%

1 to 7 days 2 45%

8 to 29 days 3 29%

1 to 3 months 4 10%

4 to 6 months 5 0%

7 to 12 months 6 0%

13 to 18 months 7 0%

Over 18 months 8 0%

Never 9 1%

***DON’T READ*** Refused 10 2%

If a person was told to take down an illegal sign by the court and refused for almost a year they could face jail for their contempt of court. If you were in the position where you had to take the sign down or go to jail, what would you do?

Code one answer only

Take the sign down 1 85%

Go to jail 2 3%

Something else 3 8%

Don’t know / can’t answer the question 9 4%

Ref: GC

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