Hibiscus Coast dog owners will be breathing a sign of relief as Auckland Council has opted to keep the existing rules relating to the times when dogs are allowed on local beaches and public parks.
It has also reduced the season when restrictions apply by one month.
Local dog owners were expecting just the opposite – tighter restrictions. They made large numbers of submissions against the proposed bylaw changes which could have seen their dogs kept off the beaches and parks that have time/date restrictions (from Labour Weekend to March 1) until after 7pm instead of after 5pm.
Around 8000 submissions were received on the proposals, 25 percent from the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board area.
Council listened to the public when it adopted changes to its Policy on Dogs and Dog Management Bylaw 2012, at its meeting today, July 25 – the vote was unanimous and means the 10am-5pm seasonal restriction remains in place in this area.
The season when the restrictions apply has also changed, and is now December 1 to March 1.
However, a change to a policy on signs related to dogs, adopted at the same time, could cost ratepayers as much as $1 million according to Councillor John Watson.
Currently if there is no off-leash sign, then dogs are expected to be kept on a leash. However, Council voted today to install additional signs to make it clearer where the off leash areas are.
“There will be no change to the number of off-leash areas available but the cost for new signage could well reach $1 million across Auckland,” Cr Watson says. “It would actually be simpler and less expensive to have it the other way around – tell everyone where dogs have to be on a leash,” he says.
“When it’s all said and done, though, the panel members hearing the submissions listened to what the overwhelming majority of submitters were saying and this has been reflected in the recommendations passed today.”