Porirua could be­come a doggy des­ti­na­tion

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS - JARED NI­COLL

Porirua has al­most twice the dog own­er­ship rate of Welling­ton, but is lag­ging well be­hind the cap­i­tal when it comes to dog ex­er­cise ar­eas.

Now one res­i­dent wants to put that right, and is urg­ing the coun­cil to put a ca­nine jewel in Porirua’s crown.

An­to­nia Al­lum has put for­ward a pro­posal urg­ing Porirua City Coun­cil to pro­vide for a ded­i­cated, fenced, off-lead dog ex­er­cise area in its 2017-18 An­nual Plan.

She en­vis­ages all the ba­sic fenc­ing, bins and wa­ter bowls, along with dif­fer­ent sec­tions, seats, play equip­ment, cool-off ar­eas and wetweather cover.

‘‘We have the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate a dog park that is a jewel in Porirua’s crown – an at­trac­tion that draws vis­i­tors to the city,’’ Al­lum said.

‘‘Dog parks around New Zealand and around the world in­clude play and train­ing equip­ment, all-weather op­tions, scenic lo­ca­tions and be­come so­cial hubs where dog own­ers, and non-dog own­ers, con­gre­gate to talk, drink cof­fee and ex­er­cise their dogs.’’

How­ever, Porirua has nine dogs for ev­ery 100 peo­ple, but only 22 ex­er­cise ar­eas with no fenced fa­cil­i­ties, and one in a plan­ning stage for As­cot Park.

Al­lum be­lieved Plim­mer­ton Do­main could be a good site for her ‘‘crown jewel’’ plan.

She said: ‘‘There has been an outcry amongst the dog com­mu­nity who al­ready feel that there is a lack of fa­cil­i­ties for dog own­ers and of­ten ques­tion why their hefty dog reg­is­tra­tion fees [to­talling about $445,000 last year] were pay­ing for mis­be­hav­ing dogs and own­ers, and not go­ing to­wards pre­ven­ta­tive dog con­trol mea­sures such as ex­er­cise and train­ing ameni­ties.’’

Coun­cil en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards man­ager Jim Sutton said it will soon be ask­ing the pub­lic if the city needed a fenced dog park as part of a wider re­view of its dog con­trol pol­icy and by­laws.

He pointed out that dog reg­is­tra­tion fees pro­vided a ser­vice for the whole com­mu­nity, not just for dog own­ers.

‘‘While dogs are a great ben­e­fit to their own­ers, not ev­ery­one loves them and they bring some risks to our com­mu­nity, such as bark­ing, roam­ing and foul­ing.’’

‘‘While dogs are a great ben­e­fit to their own­ers, not ev­ery­one loves them.’’

PHOTO: MELINA CUR­TIS

An­to­nia Al­lum urges the coun­cil to build a dog ex­er­cise park.

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