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DOG To Work With Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18 November 2003

Dog To Work With Council

A Council working party has been set up which will include members of DOG (Dog Owners Group) to work through the issues which sparked the weekend’s mass dog protest in Queen Street.

The Mayor of Auckland, John Banks facilitated a meeting yesterday between
DOG (Dog Owners Group) and a number of Councillors and council officials (including the Compliance Manager) to discuss dog owners’ concerns regarding the recent consultation process over dog exercise areas.

DOG President Cathy Casey said that Mayor’s initiative was much appreciated and resulted in very constructive outcome.

“We are appreciative of the efforts made by the Mayor to get everyone to the negotiating table. As a result, we are now going to work with the Compliance Manager, Animal Control and the Community Board Chairs as part of a working party to resolve the dog exercise area issues still under contention. I am hopeful that the working party will achieve a fair and reasonable outcome for the people of Auckland City.”

Dr Casey said that a number of issues of contention around dog exercise areas in the Compliance Manager’s report were discussed including:

Lack of uniformity over off leash sports field access to sports fields
It was noted that in Eastern Bays, off-leash dog access to sports fields on Maddils Farm and Glover Park has now been allowed, while an Eden Albert sports field at Fowlds Park was rejected by the Compliance Manager on ‘health grounds’. The Mayor suggested that the working party ensure that the controversial scientific report commissioned by the Council, which identified dogs as a health risk is peer reviewed.

Flexibility of time access to parks:

Some Community Boards’ recommendations on times of access had been shortened by the Compliance Manager for the sake of ‘uniformity’ across the city

Access to walkways:

Some Community Boards’ recommendations on walkways had been rejected by the Compliance Manager on the ‘line of sight’ argument.

Access to city beaches:

Dog access to beaches in Auckland City is to be reviewed in 2004.

Dr Casey said that the four members of DOG who will be on the working party would represent the Community Board areas of Eden Albert, Hobson, Eastern Bays and Western Bays.

The Compliance Manager’s report on dog exercise areas is to be tabled at the Council’s Works Committee on Wednesday 19 November.

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