New rule puts Porirua dogs on a shorter leash
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.
It is likely other regional parks will follow Onehunga Bay and have some areas where dogs must be leashed.