Coun­cil, take the lead

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

Barely 30 min­utes up the road, and dogs are wel­come to wan­der through Pic­ton’s town cen­tre ... on a leash, of course.

Same goes for Nel­son, while nei­ther Christchurch nor Oa­maru have a prob­lem with dogs in the cen­tral busi­ness district.

Welling­ton takes the same ‘on­leash’ ap­proach.

In fact, Blen­heim is one of the few centres in New Zealand that bans dogs from the CBD.

The max­i­mum fine for non­com­pli­ance is $20,000.

There are about 10,000 regis­tered dogs in Marl­bor­ough, and the Black Hawk Na­tional Dog Show, set down for four days in Oc­to­ber next year, will likely bring in another 1400.

So, should Blen­heim have an amnesty pe­riod dur­ing the show, to al­low vis­i­tors and lo­cals to take their dogs into the town cen­tre?

Sarah Brown, a mu­si­cian and re­spon­si­ble dog owner, thinks so.

‘‘As long as they are un­der con­trol, the owner picks up af­ter them and they are safe to be around,’’ she said.

‘‘I would love to be able to take my dogs into town. I of­ten take them to cafes and shops out­side of the CBD, when they are al­lowed.’’

Marl­bor­ough District Coun­cil en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer and an­i­mal con­trol con­tract man­ager Jane Robert­son said an ex­cep­tion to the by­law could be pos­si­ble.

‘‘There have been ex­cep­tions in the past, for spe­cific dogs when SPCA have been do­ing col­lec­tions, but never to al­low just any dog to come into the CBD.’’

Out and about in Blen­heim, most peo­ple re­acted pos­i­tively to the idea of re­lax­ing the rules for the show.

Mrs Ver­coes Diner man­ager Abi­gail Wat­son said that as long as the dog was well-be­haved, it should ‘‘ab­so­lutely be al­lowed in town’’.

‘‘If I was al­lowed to bring my dogs to town, I would. They’re very well-be­haved,’’ she said.

Voda­fone as­sis­tant man­ager Phil Skinner was on board with dogs be­ing in town for the event, but oth­er­wise main­tain­ing the sta­tus quo.

‘‘I think it’s more an essence of A girls’ col­lege has come un­der fire for pro­mot­ing bak­ing and child­care as ca­reer op­tions for its stu­dents.

A pupil from Marl­bor­ough Girls’ Col­lege, in Blen­heim, is ac­cus­ing it of tak­ing a ‘‘step back in time to the 1950s’’ af­ter bak­ing, early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion and ca­ter­ing were high­lighted in a ca­reers in­for­ma­tion pub­li­ca­tion used to pro­mote its ca­reers expo this week.

‘‘We of­fer a num­ber of ‘hands on’ in­dus­try-based cour­ses, in­clud­ing bak­ing, early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion, hos­pi­tal­ity and ca­ter­ing, out­door ed­u­ca­tion and tourism,’’ the brochure reads.

A stu­dent, who asked not to be named, is ‘‘dis­ap­pointed’’ to see the sub­jects promi­nently dis­played. She said it gives the im­pres­sion stu­dents were limited to sub­jects which led to pro­fes­sions once con­sid­ered the do­main of women.

‘‘The more I thought about it the an­grier I got. I can’t see these sub­jects be­ing of­fered at the boys’ col­lege,’’ she said.

‘‘It seems hyp­o­crit­i­cal to al­ways push us to be our best and then of­fer cour­ses like this? Why is there no men­tion of other elec­tives such as engi­neer­ing or com­puter-based op­tions?

‘‘I would like to see more cour­ses where you are pushed to use your brain more rather than sewing or cook­ing. There should be op­tions for every­one.’’

Marl­bor­ough Girls’ Col­lege prin­ci­pal Mary-jeanne Lynch de­fended the col­lege and says it of­fers a ‘‘very broad and wide cur­ricu­lum’’.

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