New bylaw angers Bay dog owners
Dunlop says there is very little evidence that dogs are causing problems [in Russell].
‘‘The whole thing has been badly consulted on, if people had realised how draconian the changes are there would have been more feedback.
‘‘I personally think that the existing rules in Russell were fine, but any irresponsible dog owner or unsupervised dogs should be reported to council.’’
When asked whether there were problems with dogs chasing birds on beaches while off-leash, Dunlop says, responsible dog owners should have their dogs under control.
‘‘Dogs should not chase wildlife - it’s against the law. Those dogs should not be allowed off a leash.’’
Dunlop says it’s also nonsense to go to Opua [the nearest off-leash area for Russell].
Around 60 dog-owners from Bay of Islands WatchDogs met at the offleash Opua Beach on August 6 to protest the bylaw changes.
The council first consulted the community on the draft policy and bylaw in October 2016.
Council district services manager Dr Dean Myburgh says the council is aware that a number of dog owners in Russell, Opua and Paihia have recently voiced strong views about the proposed bylaw.
The council is therefore asking the community board to give further consideration to the draft bylaw at its meeting, Myburgh says.
‘‘We are unable to reopen submissions and we need to follow due process,’’ he says.
‘‘However, we aim to be a council that listens to its communities, so have asked the board to consider whether to amend the draft Dog Control Bylaw and Policy.’’
The Strategy Committee will consider the draft bylaw and policy on August 30 and make recommendations to the council for consideration in September.
The 2017 Dog Control Bylaw is due to come into force by October 1.
The existing bylaw was implemented in 2006, legislation requires the bylaw to be reviewed every 10 years.
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BOI Watchdogs at Opua Beach.