We have recently completed a review of our policy on dogs and related bylaws so that we can continue to improve the way dogs are managed.
We are now looking at how to best implement the findings of the review, and while we haven’t made any decisions yet, council staff have shared some suggestions for improvements with local boards.
The council’s Policy Manager – Social Policy and Bylaw, Michael Sinclair, says that the main aim of this review is to make existing rules easier to communicate to the public and to ensure that information is presented more consistently.
"It is important to stress that we are not proposing changes to local dog access rules in this review," says Mr Sinclair.
"All current ‘on-leash’ areas at local parks and beaches will remain on-leash and all current ‘off-leash’ areas at local parks and beaches will remain off-leash. We want to make it easier for dog owners to know where they can take their dogs, and to understand what is expected of them in different places.”
"Future decisions about dog access rules at local parks and beaches will continue to be made by local boards.”
Consistency in the way we present and communicate rules
We want to be more consistent in the way that our rules are presented and communicated to reduce confusion about rules in different areas.
Currently, in some local board areas we provide a list of all the places that people can take their dogs off-lead, but in other local board areas, we provide a list of all the places people must have their dogs on-lead. This is confusing for people who take their dogs to different areas.
We want information like this to be consistent so that it can be clearly understood by everyone.
Reviewing access rules in regional parks
The only access rules that are being specifically reviewed through this process are those in regional parks. Dog access rules in regional parks have not been reviewed since Auckland Council was formed in 2010 so it makes sense to also review these rules now.
Advice has also been sought from regional park rangers and from local board members to determine whether there are specific rules in any of the regional parks that need to be updated.
The Regulatory Committee will consider the proposal for amendments to the Policy on Dogs and Dog Management Bylaw taking account feedback from local boards. An amended policy and bylaw will then be drafted and reported to the council’s Regulatory Committee and Governing Body before being notified for public submissions on the amended policy.
A final decision on amendments will be made by the Governing Body following feedback from the community consultation period.