Porirua could become a doggy destination
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.’’
Antonia Allum urges the council to build a dog exercise park.