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Plimmerton Domain Dog Recreation Area

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26 March 2020 -There are temporary closures to our parks and reserves, please head to COVID-19 pandemic closure of community facilities page for the latest information.

Coming soon to Plimmerton Domain

Plimmerton Domain Dog Recreation Area design


We've worked with local dog experts and community members to design a new fenced dog recreation area, coming to Plimmerton Domain north this summer. 

The location is a portion of the north end of the Domain, to be split into three zones – high energy, low energy and a limited zone for owners and/or dogs that need a separate area. Construction is under way.

A volunteer design group of local dog experts, the Plimmerton Residents’ Association and Porirua City Councillors, met regularly with Council Parks staff to create a preliminary design.

The result is an area designed for dogs of all shapes and speeds. The design has paths, gates, drinking water, planting and even a dog shower should dogs get muddy in the wetter months.

Plimmerton Domain Dog Recreation Area location

The three zones

Plimmerton Domain dog exercise area drone

High Energy Zone

This zone is the largest of the three zones and is aimed at dogs that have lots of energy and that are highly stimulated by what is around them. The design includes pathways, planting and features to encourage movement around the space and to allow for different usages within the space.

Low Energy Zone

This is a smaller zone with pathways and plantings that encourage movement around the space. This zone is targeted towards smaller or lower energy dogs that would possibly be overwhelmed in the high-energy zone. 

Limited Zone

This zone is for dogs or owners that need to use a separate area for their dog exercise. This could be for a number of reasons; including issues with a dog’s behaviour or owner’s health. Only one family or group would use this area at one time and they would be limited to 20 minutes if others are waiting. 

Questions and answers

We are expecting to complete the dog park this summer - likely in March. However, the timing will be dependent on weather as the ground needs to be dry for the fence to be built.

A group of local pooch experts, along with Council team members and Plimmerton Residents’ Association have worked together to create the proposed design within the money that was allocated to the project.  Elected members were also involved and attended the design workshops.

The volunteer design group was made up of: 

  • Geoff Collins, Titahi Bay Canine Obedience Club, Community Dog Training, Dogs NZ
  • Craig Prattley, Titahi Bay Canine Obedience Club, Community Dog Training, Dogs NZ
  • Antonia Allum, Titahi Bay Canine Obedience Club, Community Dog Training, Dogs NZ 
  • Rhea Hurley, Animal Behaviour Specialist and Vet
  • Ian Schraa, Animal Health Specialist and Vet
  • Jan Voss, Private dog training, A.C.E Dog Training and Council appointed technical expert
  • Allan Dodson, Co-chair, Plimmerton Residents' Association

The community was asked to provide feedback on a second dog park for the city as part of the Long-term Plan (LTP) 2018-38 consultation.  As a result of what the community said, a project to build a second fenced dog area was confirmed for the 2018-19 financial year. The community was asked about potential locations and the strongest support was for Plimmerton Domain.

The Domain will continue to be a recreation area and will be used as it currently is, other than in the fenced area. Sports groups, walkers, cyclists, schools - all who use the Domain currently - can continue to do so.  For drone users the fenced area will become a ‘no-fly’ zone. Outside the fenced dog area, the existing rules for dogs won’t change – dogs will still need to be on a lead on the rest of the Domain. There are no plans to make any changes to the roadside or car parking around the Domain.

The dog recreation fenced area will become a ‘no-fly’ zone, and the rest of the Domain will continue to be ‘drone-friendly’.

Respect to our natural areas is important.  One of the founding principles of the design group was for the fenced dog area to have connectivity with current and future activities at the Domain. It is important that the Ara Harakeke walkway through the Domain is protected throughout construction and potential impacts on the swamp and stream are considered and managed. Some examples of these considerations are:

Any soil that is stored on site from paths and fence construction will have silt control measures applied. This is to avoid any washing into the stream and swamp should heavy rain occur during construction. 

Also, any leftover soil must be removed from site at the end of the works, rather than being spread in the area. 

In one instance we have changed products because of the potential impact on the swamp and stream. To create the visual blockage between the limited zone and the other zones, we were considering using an astro-turf type product, woven into the chainlink fence.  But we were concerned that astro-turf may contribute to plastics in waterways, so we will instead use a natural product to create the same visual block.  Details are yet to be confirmed but we are keen to avoid plastic.

No significant interruptions are expected to the users of the Domain - work is expected to be between 7am and 5pm during weekdays. However, there may be the occasional Saturday in which work is carried out, but noise will not be made until 7.30am if that happens.

There may be times when the bridge at the northern end that connects to the Ara Harakeke walkway may be temporarily closed, but we will do our best to keep this to a minimum, and during working hours. The northern end of the Domain where the fenced area will be located, will be unusable over the construction period too.

Entrances to the Domain will mostly remain open.  If the bridge at the northern end of the Domain is being used, this is expected to be for short periods only (minutes as opposed to hours) and people will be guided appropriately by the on-site team.  The works are not expected to impact on the Ara Harakeke Walkway through the Domain.  

The car park at the southern end of the Domain will be the main access for the construction team.  It will continue to be open as normal, although some car parks at the far end, near the railway tracks, will be cordoned off for the construction period.  This area is clearly marked. 

There are no planned sports activities at this time in the proposed construction area.

The main part of the project is likely to take four to six weeks (completion in March), but this is weather-dependent. All work, including water pipes and connections, will be carried out during construction.

No, just a portion of the northern end of the Domain will be fenced and purely for dogs.  For the rest of the Domain, the rules for dogs remain the same – outside the fenced area will remain an on-leash area.

Different dogs have different needs and the three areas have been designed with these differences in mind. Each of the three different zones has a specific purpose. 

Dogs love to get down and dirty! Winter time at the Domain can be pretty boggy. Dog owners may wish to clean muddy dogs before leaving the park to avoid getting mud inside their cars or traipsing it home with them.

Yes although, there will be times in winter that even gumboots may be challenged.  It may be necessary to close the fenced dog area to use following heavy rain. 

The community was given a shortlist of possible locations to choose from (Plimmerton Domain, Takapūwāhia, Papakowhai Reserve or other suggestions) and Plimmerton Domain emerged as the preferred location.

The budget for the project is $235,000, which includes design, consenting and construction.

If the community wish for the dog area to be further developed, this would be considered during the Long-term Plan and Annual Plan processes. 

Yes, there are a number of other activities and projects planned for Plimmerton Domain.  One of them is a water fountain for all Domain users. Plimmerton Residents’ Association through the Village Planning process have been successful in securing a water fountain. It will be delivered as part of the construction of the fenced dog area.
More information about current and future activities and projects at Plimmerton Domain can be found on the Plimmerton Residents' Association website.

Plimmerton Domain Dog Recreation Area VDG

Members of the volunteer design group have worked closely with Council officers on the design for the recreation area.

Sod turning Plimmerton

Porirua City councillor Euon Murrell turned the first sod on Monday 13 January, 2020.

Sod turning dog park Plimmerton

Members of the group that designed, and will construct, the dog recreation area gathered for a blessing before construction began on Monday, 13 January, 2020.