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Dog control

Read about the outcome of our review of the city’s dog control rules – and some changes now in place.

We recently wrapped up a year-long review of our Dog Control Policy. The policy is a requirement under the Dog Control Act 1996. It explains Council's approach to dog control and guides internal operational policy and practice as well as how Council exercises discretion under the Dog Control Act 1996. A main feature of the policy is to describe where you can and cannot take your dog.

Council adopted a new Dog Control Policy on 25 June 2018. During our review we received 129 formal submissions, representing a wide range of views on our proposed changes to the 2011 policy. 

Key decisions

Following community consultation, we’re not going ahead with two of our proposed changes:

  • recategorising grass sportsfields as on-leash control areas when sports are not being played – dogs remain prohibited from sportsfields at all times
  • changing some Aokautere walkways from dog exercise areas to dog on-leash areas – the Poutoa, Titoki and Pari Reserve walkways remain off-leash

A third proposed change will go ahead: Dogs on leads will be allowed in the central business district for a 12-month trial period.

CBD dog trial

Start date: 23 August 2018

The trial is subject to the following conditions:

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

We’ll carry out a formal review of the trial after six months – in February 2019. This will include an analysis of monitoring undertaken by Council staff as well as considering any community feedback. A final review of the trial will be reported to the Council later in 2019, along with a recommendation on whether the CBD will be a permanent dog on-leash control area or remain prohibited. This decision will require a subsequent amendment to the policy and the bylaw.

New Dog Control Bylaw now in force

The Dog Control Policy is given effect through the Dog Control Bylaw. This means the bylaw becomes the legal means for the Council to take enforcement action if required. Enforcing the bylaw is in addition to general enforcement powers under the Dog Control Act.

A replacement Dog Control Bylaw came into effect on 23 August 2018. Council adopted the bylaw at its meeting on 13 August 2018.