Park goes to the dogs

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PASLEY

A plan to more than dou­ble the size of a cen­tral Auck­land dog park at a pop­u­lar re­serve has some res­i­dents bark­ing mad.

TheWaitem­ata¯ Lo­cal Board has pro­posed ex­pand­ing the off-leash dog area at Me­ola Reef by 155 per cent, tak­ing up more space towards the har­bour end of the re­serve.

Me­ola Reef is a lava reef for­ma­tion that reaches more than 2 kilo­me­tres into the Waitem­ata¯ Har­bour. The re­serve cur­rently has a fenced off-leash dog area. The re­main­der of the re­serve is on-leash.

The Me­ola Reef Re­serve Devel­op­ment Plan, com­mis­sioned by the lo­cal board, pro­vides a 20 year plan, fo­cus­ing on main­tain­ing and en­hanc­ing the re­serve’s ecol­ogy.

Res­i­dent Mark John­son, who lived near the re­serve and was be­hind a com­mu­nity ini­tia­tive to plant na­tive trees on the re­serve back in the late 1990s, said there was no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to ex­tend the off-leash area towards the har­bour.

‘‘The ex­ist­ing area is more than gen­er­ous. Dogs do not need to have views from the top of the reef,’’ John­son said.

‘‘If dog own­ers want a view, they can leash their dog and do what the rest of the pub­lic do and walk out­side the off-leash area to a pub­lic high point.’’

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