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Local control for dogs on beaches

Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012
Dog bylaw
BYLAW OVERHAUL: Waiheke and Great Barrier islands will are exempt from standard dogs-on-beaches times of the city’s new regionwide dog policy.

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The standard times when dogs are allowed on beaches will not apply to Waiheke and Great Barrier islands, after Auckland councillors approved the new dog bylaw.

The changes, signed off on Thursday, drew heated debate and more than 10,000 submissions from all over Auckland.

A single dog bylaw covers the whole region, as opposed to seven different bylaws from the former councils.

Initiatives include a proactive approach to registration and dealing with dangerous, menacing and uncontrolled dogs, region-wide dog access rules on all roads, footpaths, town centres and playgrounds and wide reaching exemption for disability assist dogs.

It also covers owners' responsibilities on picking up dog faeces, multiple dogs on premises and dogs in heat.

The new bylaw allows local boards to make decisions on dog access to parks and beaches.

Hearings panel chairwoman Noelene Raffills says public submissions reflected a "clear desire for regional consistency and local decision-making on local access rules. The approach we have taken recognises the benefits of a single way of thinking and, where appropriate, region-wide rules.

"But we also recognised that one approach to local parks and beaches was never going to meet the needs of dog owners or the community and that our local boards can contribute in a way that is more responsive, consistent and transparent."

The new rules will come into force from July 1 next year. Until then the existing policies and bylaws of the previous councils will apply.

Waiheke Local Board chairwoman Faye Storer says it is good for Waiheke in terms of governance.

"The governing body has recognised it's horses for courses. The Waiheke dog bylaw was always generous and we didn't want it lost just because they wanted a regionwide approach."

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