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Dog Debate Great If People Walk The Talk

Mon, 05 Jul 2004

Dog Debate Great If People Walk The Talk

Manukau City Council says the current debate on where dogs can and can't be exercised is exactly what needs to happen as long as all those who oppose the draft policy make formal submissions.

The Environmental Committee Chair says the purpose of putting out a draft policy is to get feedback from the community.

"If people are commenting publicly on the current dog policy and bylaw then they should back up their claims with formal submissions. The purpose of putting the policy out for consultation is to get community views. We have to start somewhere. If people have ideas that are plain old common sense all the better. We want the policy to work and it won't unless it makes sense to the people who are most affected," said Cr. Burnside.

Council's draft policy on dogs in Manukau addresses a number of objectives relating to dog management issues in Manukau, what actions Council and dog owners can do to achieve the objectives as well as identifying dog exercise areas.

"Put it this way. I've seen three times as many letters to the Editor than actual submissions. I just don't get people who put the effort into complaining to the media but won't front up in the consultation or even election process. If we've got at least 18 000 registered dog owners and five submissions should Council assume we've got it right first time and adopt the draft as is?

I don't think this is the case so I would urge any person interested in making changes to put in a submission," said Cr Burnside.

Submissions on the policy are open until 16 July 2004. All submissions should be sent to Council, Attention Mohammed Hassan, Private Bag 76917. An information pack is available at all Manukau Libraries, the Customer Centre Kotuku House and www.manukau.govt.nz


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