Developing land near rail

We support the safe use and development of land next to our rail corridor. In most cases this does not affect the rail network.

However, some activities can make it difficult to maintain the network and operate it safely, even if they are located some distance away.

Our KiwiRail Resource Management team works to protect existing and proposed railway corridors. If you are planning a development near the corridor or proposing one of the activities below, please contact us as soon as possible.

If your local council considers your proposal could affect KiwiRail’s property or operations, you may need our written approval (‘affected party approval’).

Contact the KiwiRail Resource Management team on 0800 801 070 and

Developing 960x540

Activities we want to know about and why

These are some development proposals which may adversely affect our operations: 

Activities which could reduce safety around the railway tracks 

  • Additional traffic movements that may affect traffic flow and safety at level crossings.
  • Additional vehicle access or changes to an existing vehicle access which may alter safety risks. Please note, we don't generally support creating new level crossings.
  • Visual distractions (e.g. advertising signs, lights) which may distract train drivers or make it hard for them to see signals.
  • Landscaping and planting which may affect visibility for train or vehicle drivers
  • Activities which may increase the risk of trespass on the railway tracks
  • Activities which involve storing, using and disposing of hazardous substances and dangerous goods. Please note, we do not generally support locating hazardous substances and dangerous goods in the rail corridor.
  • Buildings and structures that may require (restricted) access onto the corridor to maintain or limit sightlines at level crossings.

Activities which could damage rail infrastructure, affecting our operations and reducing safety in the rail corridor

  • Excavations which may destabilise the rail embankment and structures or disrupt utility services
  • Structures under the rail corridor (e.g. drainage pipes) or over watercourses near existing railway bridges or culverts
  • Stormwater discharges and modified overland flow paths that may lead to flooding and scour the rail embankment and ballast (the gravel under the tracks)

Activities which require high ‘amenity’ that could be inconsistent with our operations

  • Noise-sensitive activities (such as residential developments). Rail operations take place 24/7 and inevitably cause noise and vibration.

Activities which could create nuisances

  • Activities that may increase the incidence of litter, pests and graffiti in the rail corridor.

Information we need for Section 95E of the RMA (Affected Party) assessments

Please give us enough information to understand the effects your proposal may have on our infrastructure or operations. Using this development checklist will ensure you’ve covered everything and help us process your request quickly.

If any information is missing or inadequate, we will let you know. We will do our best to meet your timeframes for feedback.