Byelaws in Christchurch
Byelaws are local laws made by a local council under an enabling power contained in a public general act or a local act requiring something to be done – or not done – in a specified area. They are accompanied by some sanction or penalty for their non-observance.
If validly made, byelaws have the force of law within the areas to which they apply. Generally byelaws are overseen by the relevant government department or confirming authority who has policy responsibility for the subject matter.
Byelaws are enforced by the local authority through the magistrates’ court and contravening a byelaw can result in a fine upon successful conviction.
Byelaws are considered measures of last resort after a local council has tried to address the local issue the byelaw applies to through other means. A byelaw cannot be made where alternative legislative measures already exist that could be used to address the problem. Byelaws should always be proportionate and reasonable. Where a byelaw is no longer necessary, it should be revoked.