Dogs may get place to play

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 19/03/2014
Lesley Stoddard
RAYMOND BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ
PROACTIVE: Timaru Dog Parks trustee Lesley Stoddard with his dogs Oscar, left and Bruiser, is hoping for a dog park facility in Timaru. 

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Previous calls for a dog park in Timaru have fallen on deaf ears, but the district council says it is looking forward to seeing what the newly established Timaru Dog Parks Trust has to offer.

The trust was formed to work with the council to establish a park in the region and will meet council staff to present its ideas.

Trust member Richard Brown said the purpose of the meeting was to establish communication with the council before the Annual Plan was drafted.

"We want to work with council, not fight them, to bring a facility to Timaru that doesn't exist yet," Mr Brown said.

Mayor Damon Odey said the previous council had done some comprehensive work on the dog bylaw review, but he realised there was a desire for a dog park from some members of the public, so had asked staff to assess parks in Christchurch.

"Look, dogs are a hot topic in Timaru.

"I think it's great a trust has been set up and I'm interested to see what they have to offer," Mr Odey said.

He said although he had a dog, he would not use a park, but he could see a need for socialisation of dogs in the community.

"Different people have different needs.

"The trust sounds pretty proactive to me," he said.

Councillor Steve Wills said he was enthusiastic and would support the trust, but there were some issues that needed to be sorted out.

"Maintenance, control, and responsibility all need to be considered.

"There is still some work to go to make sure the appropriate structures are put in place, but I think it is absolutely brilliant a trust has been set up," Mr Wills said.

Councillors Steve Earnshaw, Kerry Stevens, Tracy Tierney and Pat Mulvey said they were open to hearing about the dog park but would not have a pre-determined position until they heard what the trust had to say.

Council regulatory services manager Chris English said he had gone to Rolleston and Christchurch with a staff team, and the visits were extremely educational.

Mr English said the team was given an hour-long guided tour by the designer at one of the parks, who was able to give them helpful advice on how to create a quality park for low costs, and what type of land to use.

He said he had visited sites in Timaru he believed could be used for a dog park if the council decided it would support the idea.

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- The Timaru Herald

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