Ex­clu­sion zones for Caro­line Bay

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - AL WIL­LIAMS

Dogs are to be ex­cluded from parts of Caro­line Bay in a bid to pro­tect lit­tle blue pen­guins.

The Ti­maru Pen­guin Group has can­vassed the com­mu­nity about ex­clu­sion zones on the Bay and was in the Ti­maru District Coun­cil cham­bers on Tues­day to hear coun­cil­lors unan­i­mously vote for change.

Coun­cil­lors voted to ac­cept the 15-page dog con­trol pol­icy and 2018 con­sol­i­dated by­law.

Ex­clu­sion zones at the north­ern and south­ern ends of Caro­line Bay, aimed at en­hanc­ing pro­tec­tion of the colony of lit­tle blue pen­guins on the beach, were given the green light.

The ex­clu­sion zones, along Marine Pa­rade, at the south­ern end, and the Ben­v­enue Cliffs, at the north­ern end of the bay, will be marked out by sig­nage ed­u­cat­ing beach users about their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

They would op­er­ate from April 1 to Septem­ber 30, the pe­riod when dogs are al­lowed on the Bay.

Ti­maru Pen­guin Group mem­bers Kim­ber­ley Collins and Peter Ben­nett ad­dressed the meet­ing.

Collins said 1722 peo­ple had signed a pe­ti­tion to pro­tect the pen­guins.

‘‘We see the pen­guins as a hugely valu­able as­set to Ti­maru, so close to the port and city, and also for tourism ben­e­fits and eco­nomic ben­e­fits,’’ Collins said.

‘‘Hav­ing the pen­guins is an op­por­tu­nity to di­ver­sify our econ­omy as not many other cities have that op­por­tu­nity and we thank the coun­cil for lis­ten­ing to us.

‘‘We think this is a win for pen­guins, tourism and fam­i­lies, and it’s a win for Ti­maru’s fu­ture.’’

Ti­maru District Mayor Da­mon Odey said he was im­pressed with the ef­fort the group had made in be­ing or­gan­ised and pro­vid­ing rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion.

‘‘I thank you for be­ing brave enough to stand up,’’ he said.

Coun­cil­lor Kerry Stevens said he was happy to adopt the pol­icy and by­law.

Coun­cil­lor Dave Jack sec­onded the mo­tion.

‘‘I think there has been a lot of ef­fort and we have a doc­u­ment we can work with now,’’ Jack said.

The other pro­posed change con­tained in the pol­icy coun­cil­lors adopted af­fects the con­di­tions un­der which dogs can be present on Stafford St.

Pre­vi­ously pro­hib­ited, ex­cept if be­ing taken to a vet, or their own­ers lived on the street, the new pol­icy pro­posed dogs also be per­mit­ted on premises where food is pre­pared and sold, pro­vided the busi­nesses in ques­tion have man­aged this risk in their Food Con­trol Plans

Dogs will con­tinue to be pro­hib­ited at Ao­rangi Park, the Otipua Wet­lands and the Clare­mont Bush Re­serve.

District-wide, dogs, with the ex­cep­tion of work­ing dogs, will con­tinue to be banned from schools, kinder­gartens, play­cen­tres and all play­grounds.

Stafford St ap­pears to be the only shop­ping area re­gion-wide where dogs are banned.

They are al­lowed on leashes in shop­ping precincts in the Macken­zie, Wai­mate, Pleas­ant Point, Te­muka and Geral­dine.

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