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Changes recommended for Porirua's dog rules

News - dog walking on lead on Te Ara Piko

A fenced dog park for Porirua will be part of the city’s Long-term Plan discussions after getting clear support from residents during a review of Porirua’s Dog Control Policy and Bylaw.

The City Delivery Committee today recommended the Council adopt a number of changes to dog rules in the city, as well as include the fenced dog park in the city’s next Long-term Plan 2018-38 for wider public consultation.

“We received a huge variety of feedback from 108 people that ranged from those who love dogs and want more off-leash areas, to those who want them heavily restricted because of the issues they pose in busy recreation areas and environmentally sensitive spaces,” said City Delivery Committee Chair Anita Baker. “We’ve done our best to strike a balance when developing the policy and bylaw.”

On the idea of a fenced dog park, 89 people gave feedback with 94 per cent supporting it. Most felt it should be funded by general rates.

“It will be good to test if there is wider support from residents for funding a fenced dog park through rates and we’ll do that as part of the consultation on the Long-term Plan in October.”

The committee recommended removing the $34.50 application fee for ‘responsible dog owner status’ which allows owners to pay lower dog fees.

“We want to encourage dog owners to be responsible; to fence their properties and manage their animals well.  We hope more will take this opportunity if we remove the fee to apply,” said Councillor Baker.

A number of changes to where dogs are allowed in the city were recommended.

By law, dogs must be on a leash at all times in Porirua except in areas identified as prohibited or dog  off-leash areas and the committee recommended creating two new off leash dog exercise areas at Elsdon and Cannons Creek.

The committee also recommended lifting the restriction on dogs in village shopping centres (except Porirua City) provided they are on a leash and under control.

 Tighter restrictions on dogs were recommended for:

  • Plimmerton Beach - to make dogs prohibited at all times from 1 November to 31 March and on leash for the rest of the year on the section south of the fire station from the sandy beach at Sunset Parade to Taupō Stream,
  • Te Ara Piko - to be on leash at all times except in areas where dogs should be prohibited to protect wildlife once these are clearly identified, and
  • Camborne Walkway - dogs to be on-leash at the beginning and end of the walkway (off-leash in-between) with future use reviewed because of its long-term links to Te Ara Piko and the Pāuatahanui Wildlife Reserve.

“There were very mixed views about dogs being allowed on our popular beaches and walkways with concerns raised about the danger they pose to people and wildlife, and the problems caused by owners who don’t clean up after their dogs.”

“Porirua has 19 formal off leash dog exercises areas and all city beaches, except the main five, are open for dogs to run on all year - so there are plenty of options for Porirua dog owners.”

No change, except at Plimmerton Beach, was recommended to the time dogs can be off leash on the city’s other four main beaches; Karehana, Paremata, Pukerua Bay and Titahi Bay, which is anytime between 1 April to 31 October and before 10am and after 7pm between 1 November and 31 March.

A recommendation was made to defer a decision on the compulsory neutering of dogs classified as menacing based on breed/type until the outcome of the government’s review of these provisions is known.

The Committee noted a review of signs for dog off and on leash areas will be done and further funding for signage should be considered during development of the Long-term Plan.

“There was a lot to consider in this review and we are grateful to everyone who took the time to share their views,“ Councillor Baker said.

7 Sep 2017