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Hutt City Council Makes Changes To The Dog Control Bylaw

Hutt City Council has made changes under the Dog Control Bylaw. The changes include prohibiting dogs from Bird Protection Areas (BPAs) at Sorrento Bay, Whiorau Reserve, CL Bishop Park and HW Shortt Park.

They also include prohibiting dog access at Sorrento Bay and the beach adjacent to CL Bishop Park, and removing the daylight-saving dog restriction at Whiorau Reserve. Dog access at HW Shortt Park outside of the BPA remains unchanged.

Dog owners can still exercise their dogs off-leash on the beach south of Rona Bay wharf from Rata Street to Miro Street. Dogs can also be off-leash at Days Bay north of Days Bay wharf from 1 April to 30 November and between 7pm -10am from 1 December to 31 March.

Council was required to prohibit dog access in and around the BPAs or make physical changes to the fencing and vegetation in those areas to meet resource consent conditions for Tupua Horo Nuku - Eastern Bays Shared Path. The purpose of the BPAs is to provide nesting opportunities for kororā (little blue penguins) and protect the current nest site of tōrea pango (variable oystercatchers).

Council received 275 survey submissions and six email submissions during a month-long public consultation in February. Most submissions were in support of the proposed changes, with 65% in support at Sorrento and Lowry Bay, 66% at Whiorau Reserve and 60% at HW Shortt Park. 53% of participants were not in favour of the changes at CL Bishop Park.

Chair of the Subcommittee Councillor Simon Edwards said it was a balancing act of providing a safe habitat for the native wildlife, meeting the resource consent requirements and meeting the needs of the community.

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"With reasonable controls on dogs in these areas, alongside education and enforcement, these bird protection areas should provide safer nesting spaces for these precious native animals. Residents can take pride in knowing the part they play in conserving our native wildlife," Cr Edwards said.

Tupua Horo Nuku obtained resource consent in June 2021, after a lengthy process including appeals. This resource consent can be found here. It details what can and cannot be built. Changing a resource consent may take a long time which risks causing unacceptable delays to the construction of Tupua Horo Nuku.

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