New rule puts Porirua dogs on a shorter leash

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

Gal­li­vant­ing pooches take note – your days of free­dom at One­hunga Bay are over.

Where dogs once had free rein at Porirua’s Whi­tireia Park, they now have to be leashed un­der new rules by the re­gional coun­cil.

The beach, park­ing area and pic­nic area are all off lim­its to free-run­ning ca­nines and it was likely other re­gional parks would fol­low suit.

A spokesman for Greater Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil said the man­age­ment plans for all parks would be re­viewed in the next 18 months.

‘‘It is likely the other parks will have dog on-leash ar­eas if sub­mit­ters and park users agree,’’ he said.

Rangers would pa­trol the area and peo­ple not fol­low­ing the bylaw would be given a friendly re­minder, he said.

‘‘Peo­ple who are reg­u­larly break­ing the bylaw may be tres­passed from the park.’’

Dogs could still en­joy an of­fleash romp in the rest of the park, but must be in sight and un­der voice con­trol.

On Wed­nes­day, the rule earned the scorn of dog walk­ers in the bay.

One owner, who did not want to be named, said she would con­tinue to walk her dog off the leash.

‘‘I pay reg­is­tra­tion and [get] nothing for it. They can’t en­force this rule and I won’t be the only one to ig­nore it.’’

An­other dog walker agreed and said she would not leash her dog un­less coun­cil staff were there.

Porirua City parks man­ager Olivia Dovey said there were no fully fenced dog parks in the city but one would be con­structed in Aotea this year.

In 2016, it cost $123 to reg­is­ter a dog in Porirua City.

Welling­ton City of­fered two fully fenced dog parks and plans were un­der­way in both Kapiti and the Hutt to build fenced parks.

Re­gional coun­cil­lor and Whi­tireia Park Board chair Bar­bara Don­ald­son said the do­gon-leash area was de­vel­oped based on feed­back from the com­mu­nity when the new man­age­ment plan was de­vel­oped.

‘‘We want ev­ery­one who comes to the park to have an en­joy­able time and some peo­ple have been telling us they want an area where dogs are on leads at all times.

‘‘The pic­nic area and beach around One­hunga Bay is very pop­u­lar and not ev­ery­one likes dogs,’’ Don­ald­son said.

PHOTO: VIR­GINIA FAL­LON/FAIR­FAX NZ

It is likely other re­gional parks will fol­low One­hunga Bay and have some ar­eas where dogs must be leashed.

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