The Bay Chronicle - - CONVERSATIONS - Pam Wil­liams Tau­ranga Bay Grant Atkin­son Man­gonui

I live at Tau­ranga Bay and we are hav­ing the same prob­lem out here. About a year ago a to­tal dog ex­clu­sion zone was cre­ated for over half the beach.

This was done with­out pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, but asked for by the Tau­ranga Bay Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion.

It was dis­cov­ered that no one wanted it, and voted to get it re­moved as af­ter a sea­son with no dogs, there were still no more dot­terels.

Now a huge por­tion of the beach is roped off and the river which is a great place for dogs to romp and swim isn’t even ac­ces­si­ble.

The voice of a few bird peo­ple who prob­a­bly never come to Tau­ranga Bay don’t seem to want to lis­ten to the voice of rea­son.

We need to be given a bit of credit for recog­nis­ing that na­tive birds add to the pleasure of liv­ing and vis­it­ing here. To­tal ex­clu­sion zones are just plain crazy. Most dog own­ers that walk their dogs are ac­tu­ally re­spon­si­ble so re­ally I can’t see that this change is go­ing to save any birds.

I see a cou­ple of glar­ing is­sues that the coun­cil over­look and al­ways by­pass. One, the dog own­ers who should not be al­lowed to own a dog who’s dogs roam un­con­trolled, and two, it’s ac­tu­ally not just dogs caus­ing deaths for birds - try rats.

We are in a Kiwi Zone, and there are signs warn­ing that our dogs can kill kiwi. I’m a re­spon­si­ble dog owner and I know that.

So why is it okay for do­mes­tic rub­bish to get piled at the end of roads for col­lec­tion be­cause the coun­cil think it’s not eco­nomic for waste trucks to go up those roads?

This rub­bish is of­ten put out days in ad­vance and now great pop­u­la­tions of rats rip into the bags. Rats do more harm to the bird life than a dog walk­ing with its owner down the beach front.

I have talked to the coun­cil, writ­ten to the mayor, no one will com­ment. Am I just bark­ing up the wrong tree! Be­tween Jan­uary and April Pai­hia is one of the largest flock­ing sites for en­dan­gered NZ dot­terel. Up to 50 make Pai­hia their home - there are only around 1700 left.

It makes them nearly as en­dan­gered as the gi­ant panda and far more at risk than kiwi. I would love our area to be­come the

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