Own­ers bit­ten in pocket

Kapi-Mana News - - REGION - By LAURA MACDON­ALD

Welling­ton dog own­ers pay top dol­lar when it comes to reg­is­ter­ing their pooches – for ap­par­ently no greater ser­vice.

While Welling­ton City Coun­cil of­fers sim­i­lar ser­vices to other coun­cils over­see­ing dog con­trol, it comes at a higher cost.

Welling­to­ni­ans pay $167.50 a year for an un-neutered dog, com­pared with $87 in Christchurch, $107 in Auck­land and $146.50 in Porirua.

Fig­ures ob­tained un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act show that the coun­cil’s in­come from reg­is­tra­tion and in­fringe­ment fees rose by $83,225 this year – from $ 1,041,903 in 2011 to $1,125,128.

Its spend­ing on dog man­age­ment was down by $12,621 – from $ 908,441 in 2011 to $895,820 in 2012. There was a dif­fer­ence of $229,308 be­tween in­come and ex­pen­di­ture.

WCC pub­lic health man­ager Ali­son Cur­tis said money went to­wards wider cor­po­rate costs – prop­erty, lease, IT, power, etc – and pub­lic health man­age­ment costs.

The coun­cil re­coups 75 per cent of the costs as­so­ci­ated with dog con­trol through reg­is­tra­tion and in­fringe­ment fees, and the re­main­ing 25 per cent is cov­ered by res­i­den­tial rates.

The coun­cil con­tracts out its an­i­mal con­trol duty at a cost of $860,879 – up from $849,949 in 2011.

Ms Cur­tis said the coun­cil was work­ing on ini­tia­tives to im­prove the value dog own­ers got for their reg­is­tra­tion fees.

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