Porirua dog fee rise halted

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - JARED NI­COLL

Dog fees in Porirua have been brought to a heel.

The city topped the na­tional list with $126 for yearly regis­tra­tion this time last year, which was more than four times as ex­pen­sive as South­land where it costs just $30 per pup.

Now Porirua mayor Mike Tana says coun­cil­lors have lis­tened to ratepay­ers and voted not to in­crease fees, which could have gone up 3 per cent dur­ing the next fi­nan­cial year.

‘‘Our bot­tom line is that the fees are fair and the costs are cov­ered.

‘‘Rel­a­tively, our fees are sim­i­lar to those in the re­gions,’’ Tana said.

Fees go to­wards var­i­ous ser­vices such as owner ed­u­ca­tion, dog con­trol and re­hom­ing un­wanted dogs.

The city is ex­pect­ing its first dog park in As­cot Park later this year, and the coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing a sec­ond as part of its LongTerm Plan (LTP) 2018-2038 dis­cus­sions.

Porirua dog owner John Holmes had a bal­anced view: ‘‘Great news about the dog regis­tra­tion this year, shame about the rates’’.

Welling­ton City Coun­cil, which came a close sec­ond last year at just $1 be­hind Porirua, has also de­cided not to in­crease its fees for the fifth year in a row.

Coun­cil­lor Mal­colm Spar­row, chair­man of Welling­ton’s regu- la­tory pro­cesses com­mit­tee and a re­spon­si­ble dog owner, said his in­voice was $61.50 - con­sid­er­ably less than the full fee of $125.

‘‘Three years ago I would have ques­tioned whether dog own­ers were get­ting value for money.

‘‘That was be­fore coun­cil set aside $200,000 in its LTP for ful­lyfenc­ing three dog ex­er­cise ar­eas over a three-year pe­riod.

‘‘Those fully-fenced dog parks have turned out to be very pop­u­lar, and a good us­age of dog own­ers’ regis­tra­tion fees.’’

A Welling­ton City Coun­cil spokeswoman said it could be ‘‘very hard to com­pare dog regis­tra­tion fees across coun­cils, be­cause they’re all struc­tured dif­fer­ently’’.

‘‘Our en­tire and de-sexed fees are higher than most but our [reg­is­tered dog owner] fees are lower than most.

‘‘This il­lus­trates the [coun­cil’s] com­mit­ment to re­ward­ing own­ers who do the right thing.’’

Coun­cil­lor Mal­colm Spar­row

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