Sta­tus quo on dog by­laws for now

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

De­ci­sions on dog ac­cess rules will be de­cided by lo­cal boards and un­til those de­ci­sions are made, the cur­rent rules on where Rover and Flash can be walked off-leash re­main.

The Auck­land Coun­cil has re­leased its new pol­icy on dogs and dog man­age­ment, which re­places the seven poli­cies of the pre-su­per city coun­cils.

The new pol­icy takes ef­fect on July 1.

When the coun­cil an­nounced its ideas on new dog poli­cies last year it re­ceived more than 10,000 sub­mis­sions from across the city.

The coun­cil says while many of those sub­mit­ters agreed a re­gion-wide ap­proach was re­quired there was also a ‘‘clear pref­er­ence for greater lo­cal in­put’’ be­fore de­ci­sions are made about dog ac­cess on lo­cal parks and beaches.

To that end de­ci­sions on dog ac­cess rules have now been placed in the hands of Auck­land’s 21 lo­cal boards.

The chair­woman of the hear­ings panel that dealt with the by­law, coun­cil­lor Noe­lene Raf­fills, says when it comes to cer­tain ar­eas the same rules will ap­ply city-wide.

‘‘Now we have one ap­proach across Auck­land for the things that are im­por­tant no mat­ter where you are, like en­cour­ag­ing re­spon­si­ble dog own­er­ship, deal­ing with dan­ger­ous and men­ac­ing dogs, and com­mon dog ac­cess rules for foot­paths, play­grounds drive­ways.’’

Ms Raf­fills says while it is good to have con­trol with a lo­cal body it will mean yet an­other de­ci­sion-mak­ing process must be held.

‘‘The down­side to this though is that un­til those re­views are com­plete, which could take some time, the ex­ist­ing ac­cess rules on lo­cal beaches will con­tinue.’’

To review the dog ac­cess rules boards will have to follow a statu­tory process and are re­quired to gather information, en­gage with the com­mu­nity and pre­pare and no­tify pro­pos­als that the com­mu­nity can make sub­mis­sions on, and then hold hear­ings.

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Boards will iden­tify beaches where dogs may be taken un­der con­trol off a leash at all times all-year round and where the new re­gion-wide sum­mer beach times and sea­son should be ap­plied, what type of dog ac­cess in each time slot, and dog ac­cess dur­ing win­ter months.

On Auck­land cen­tral parks and beaches the ex­ist­ing dog ac­cess rules for un­der con­trol off-leash, un­der con­trol on­leash, and pro­hib­ited ar­eas will con­tinue after July 1, as will the cur­rent sum­mer and win­ter time and sea­son re­stric­tions on when dogs are al­lowed at these lo­ca­tions.

Visit auck­land­coun­cil.govt. nz/dog to view the new pol­icy.

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