Mobile Shops

​​​​All mobile shops, stalls and hawkers (MSSH) wanting to trade in a public place will need a permit. Food trucks, flower vendors and coffee carts are just some of the many types of trades which can benefit from trading in a public space.

If you have a license or permit from another district, you still need to apply for a permit issued by Ashburton
District Council.

All MSSH must comply with the conditions set out in the Ashburton District Council Mobile Shops, Stalls and Hawkers Bylaw 2016.

Applying for a Mobile Shops, Stalls and Hawkers permit

All MSSH ned to apply for a MSSH permit. Before you fill out the application form consider which areas you would like to operate your MSSH. These will need to be included on your application form.

  • Complete an application form specifying all areas where you wish to operate your MSSH. Return the form to Council reception, or email
  • If food is being prepared then you must contact the Environmental Monitoring Team at Council, as an assessment by an Environmental Health Officer will be needed. For information on the legislative requirements, see the information regarding the Food Act 2014.

NOTE: Even if you have a permit from another district, you will still need to apply for a permit to trade in Ashburton District.

Download a Mobile or Travelling Shops Permit application form
Download a Hawker Stall Permit application form

Council recommends all MSSH take out public liability insurance. With the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, it is recommended that MSSH develop Health and Safety Plans, and make sure their staff are aware of health and safety procedures.

Permitted areas of trade

There are certain areas that are considered as 'permitted sites' for MSSH to operate. These are the preferred sites for trade. It is possible to operate in sites that are not listed as 'permitted sites', however you will be required to apply to Council. you will also need to provide a reason why you wish to operate in that site.

Permitted sites for mobile shops and stalls:

  • Havelock Street, between East Street and Baring Square East, Ashburton
  • Havelock Street cul-de-sac, northwest from Walker Street, Ashburton
  • Ashburton Domain layby, within the Ashburton Domain along West Street, Ashburton
  • 160 Main Street, outside the Methven Heritage Centre, Methven

Additional permitted sites for stalls only:

  • East Street footpath, in front of 242 East Street, Ashburton
  • The Mall, between Main Street and McMillian Street, Methven
  • The Square - Main Street, outside the Medical Centre, Methven

Discretionary sites for mobile shops and stalls during the timeframes specified:

  • East Street, Ashburton, during one-off events as agreed by an Authorised Officer
  • West Street car park, Ashburton, during weekends and after 5pm weekdays

Trading on private land

You do not require a MSSH Permit to trade on private land. However, you do require consent of the property owner.

Permit fees​

The fees for MSSH are calculated on a per-day or annual basis. The cost of a permit depends on the level of risk of the MSSH. This will be determined by the Environmental Monitoring Team. If you are planning on trading for more than one day per year, it is worth applying for an annual permit.

NOTE: if you are planning on using the powered sites, there will be an additional fee for a License to Occupy.

For more information, see Fees and charges

Frequently Asked Questions​

"Do I need to apply for a permit?"All mobile shops, stalls or hawkers who are selling a good or service on Council owned land need to apply for a permit.

"I have a permit from another district, can I use that?"No. Even if you have a permit or licence from another district, you still need to apply for a permit from Ashburton District Council to trade in Ashburton.

"How do I apply for a permit?"You can apply by filling out a MSSH Permit Form and returning it to Council. You will be contacted by a staff member to organise issuing the permit. Permits will not be issued on the spot at Council reception because staff need time to process and check all of the information.

"Where can I trade?"All MSSH require a special permit for trading in Ashburton District. This permit specifies the exact areas where you can trade.

If you wish to trade from the roadside on a state highway, you will need the permission of New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). NZTA are unlikely to support trading on a state highway where the speed limit is greater than 50km/hr due to the traffic safety of vehicles pulling over.

"Can I trade on private land? Do I need a permit to do so?"You do not require a permit to trade on private land but you will need permission from the landowner.

"How much does a permit cost?"The cost of a permit varies depending on the risk of the MSSH. The risk is determined by the Environmental Health Officer. The permit cost is different depending on if you want a one day permit or an annual permit.

There is a cost for usage of the powered sites located at Baring Square East and Main Street, Methven.

"I want to trade at an event. Do I need a permit?"If the events are held on private property (such as the showground) then you will need to obtain permission from the property owner. Check with the event organiser for more information.

"I want to trade at the Farmers Market. Do I need a permit?"You will need to obtain a permit to operate at the farmers market.

"How long does the permit last for?"The permit lasts for one year from the date it was issued. After this time you will need to contact Council to apply for a new permit.

"What happens if I want to trade in an area not on my permit?"

Contact the Council and request that a site be added. If the requested site is not listed in the bylaw it will need to be assessed.

"Do I need public liability insurance?"Council recommends you take out public liability insurance. This is the responsibility of the permit holder.

"Can I transfer my permit to another MSSH?"No. Permits are not transferrable. You will need to apply for a new permit for a new MSSH.

More information

For more information, please contact (03) 307 7700 or