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CBD dog trial

Dog owners can now bring their dog on-leash into the central business district. This is a year-long trial running until 22 August 2019, to work out whether we should permanently lift the prohibition on dogs in the CBD.

Keep reading for more information about the trial and our requirements for dog owners, or jump to the bottom of the page to give us your feedback.

Reasons for the 12-month trial

  • to contribute to city centre vibrancy and socialisation benefits through allowing people and their companion dogs to enjoy public places
  • to allow Council time to consider options for the future in terms of a permanent dog control status for the CBD

Underpinning this is a societal shift to provide more dog-friendly environments. It is also becoming widespread practice across the country to allow dogs into town centres, to offer lifestyle benefits for dog owners and their companion animals.

What is the central business district?

Photo shows a map of the Palmerston North central city, defining the area where dogs will be allowed on leash for a 12-month trial period.

The central business district (CBD) is the area within the boundary formed by Grey/Walding, Princess, Ferguson and Pitt Streets. This includes the Square.

Dog trial conditions

When Council approved a change to the Dog Control Policy it set the following conditions relating to the trial:

  • Dogs must be on a leash at all times. The leash should be short and not be extendable
  • Council reserves the ability to exclude dogs from certain events in the CBD
  • Council reserves the right to exclude problem dogs from the CBD if any issues arise such as failing to remove dog faeces, fighting or aggression, and excessive barking
  • Council reserves the right to end the trial early for any reason

Council will review, and report on, the trial after six months.

On-leash requirements

Having your dog on-leash in the CBD is an absolute must. To try and minimise tripping or dogs being too far away from their owner, please use a short lead when you’re visiting the CBD. A short lead is one that is 1.2 metres and under.

The on-leash requirement applies to public places within the CBD, including places that are open to the public – whether or not they are private property.

Please check before entering any businesses or shops to see if they allow dogs.

Check before bringing your dog to events

Council needs to make sure people’s health and safety are not compromised during the trial. As a result, we reserve the right to ask people not to bring their dogs to certain events over the course of the trial. Please look out for information about the events you’re interested in attending, or check with us first.

Be responsible and considerate

Please be responsible when making the decision to come into the CBD with your dog/s. If there are any problems you may be approached by Council staff to leave the CBD.

Length of trial

The trial is for one year, meaning that it will end on 22 August 2019 – unless it has been ended before that date. Council needs to decide what the permanent dog control area status should be in July 2019. Further consultation with the community will take place before then.

Report an issue with the CBD dog trial

If you witness any incidents involving dogs that make you uncomfortable, please phone us immediately on 06 356 8199. Our call centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Give us your feedback!

We want to hear from you about the trial – whether your experience is good, or bad. Please fill in the form below so we can collect this information, to enable us to monitor how the trial is going.

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If you want Council to follow up your comments, please fill in your details