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Dogs remain banned from Tahuna Torea Reserve

MEDIA RELEASE
23 September 2005


Dogs remain banned from Tahuna Torea Reserve

Auckland City Council has decided that Tahuna Torea reserve is to be retained as an area prohibited to dogs.

An Auckland City hearing panel had earlier recommended this to the council after public consultation held in August.

The reasons for this decision are:

- the availability of other nearby reserves where dogs can be exercised off the leash and beach areas where dogs can be exercised and can swim year round during appropriate hours

- that it is the only public reserve and beach area in the isthmus area where dogs are prohibited at all times. This allows those people who want to enjoy a reserve free from dogs that unique style of recreation

- the adverse effects that the presence of dogs has on birds and other fauna in the reserve, on birds feeding in the inter-tidal area and on ground nesting birds and birds roosting on the spit.

“This area is a unique city-based wildlife reserve and a habitat for a range of wetland and migratory wading birds, some of which are quite rare, making it a site of important ecological significance. A range of birds nest on the ground within the reserve and are therefore very vulnerable,” says Councillor Christine Caughey, acting chairperson of the Planning and Regulatory Committee. “It is important that we protect unique areas such as these and ensure these birds are not threatened.”

The reserve and beach area became an area prohibited to dogs on 1 September 2004, after a review of Auckland City’s dog policy and dog control bylaw from July to August 2004.

In November 2004, a petition with 874 signatures was presented to the Eastern Bays Community Board requesting that access to Tahuna Torea Reserve and beach area be restored so that dogs could be walked on a leash in the reserve.

This petition was presented to the February 2005 meeting of Auckland City’s Planning and Regulatory Committee. In March 2005, the committee resolved that the council invite the public to comment on the proposal to have Tahuna Torea Reserve as an on-leash dog exercise area.

The written submission period began on 13 June 2005 and closed on 15 July 2005. One hundred and eighty written submissions were received and 11 verbal submissions were heard on Friday 19 August by the hearing panel. The panel deliberated in public and made their recommendation on Tuesday 23 August.

ENDS

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