Porirua dog fee rise halted
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