Status quo on dog bylaws for now
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.
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.