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Dog Friends - Auckland Region & Rodney, May 2014

Please read this newsletter carefully, especially the ‘Comment' at the end, EVEN if you are not living in Rodney. At the May Rodney Local Board meeting, Board members let dog owners down very badly. Please read on ....

Rodney Local Board – New Auckland Dog Policy - Timeline

•  November 2012: New Auckland Dog Policy finalised by Auckland Council includes a new region wide summer beach time and season rule 10 am to 5 pm Labour Weekend to 1 st March by October 2013

•  The Dog Policy Hearings Panel, at their deliberations, suggested Local Boards be required to do a review of the access rules in their area. One of the main reasons for this review would be to see if there might be any additional areas that could be made available by any Board for more off leash dog access.

•  10 July 2013 Regulatory & Bylaws meeting: Council Officers were instructed to work closely with Hibiscus & Bays, Waiheke and Rodney Local Boards to advance dogs local access rules as quickly as possible.

•  8 August 2013: Hibiscus & Bays LB moved to implement the new region wide summer time and season rule, 10 am to 5 pm Labour Weekend to 1 st March by October 2013. The process was started, submissions received, hearings held and a decision made in time for the new rules to commence October 2013 for summer 2013/2014.

•  September 2013: Rodney Local Board decide to review dog access rules in their area between September 2014 and October 2015, meaning the new beach rules would NOT be implemented beforesummer 2015/2016 !!!

•  April 2014 Rodney LB meeting: Dog Friends – Auckland Region & Rodney requested the Board implement the time and season rule in time for summer 2014/2015 and leave the review of access rules until later. Greg Sayers indicated that he would put a motion to the May meeting of the Board to implement the time and season rule for this summer.

•  May 2014: Greg Sayers was advised that his motion had been removed from the May agenda. In its place was a report prepared by Council staff to consider a split review, i.e. addressing the time and season rule mid 2014 in time for summer 2014/2015, and the access rules in 2015. This report indicated that a decision from the Board on whether to go ahead with a split review would be required at its June meeting.

•  The costs included by Council staff in the above report are hugely inflated.  For example, the signage costs (at 12 beaches), shown as $4,500 to $23,500, would have been only $1,000 for stickers over the existing signs (as was done in H&B). Even $1,000 seems excessive for the number of stickers required! The $3,500 to audit signs (number and location) at 12 beaches is crazy (the Animal Control Officer in the area could do that for nothing in the normal course of his work as he visited the different locations).  Also included was an item of $35,000 for staff costs! The total costs in this report are shown as $ 52,500 to $71,000 !!!

•  May 2014: As mentioned above, Dog Friends had asked at the April meeting for a split review, ie to follow what H&B did last year. Instead of waiting for the June meeting (as suggested in the staff report) to make a decision on a split review, a motion was put to the meeting by Member Flaunty, seconded by Member Colville to reconfirm the September 2013 decision. The unconfirmed wording of the resolution added in the following underlined words: “ defer the timing of a review of dog access including time and season rules in the Rodney Local Board area to between September 2014 and October 2015”.

•  There is absolutely no reason why the decision couldn't have waited one more month to allow time for investigation into the cost issue .  It is shocking that the Board members were not willing to wait for the June meeting before making their final decision on a split review.

•  Greg Sayers was the ONLY member of the Board that voted against the resolution.


Dog Friends – Auckland Region & Rodney have fought for over 10 years for fairer summer restrictions on Rodney beaches. We have shown overwhelming evidence of empty beaches at times when dogs are prohibited including a slide show with hundreds of photos, and have also presented hundreds of pages of feedback from dog owners including a huge amount from the elderly and mothers with young children. The new Auckland Dog Policy contains a “region wide” summer time and season rule as described above. We cannot understand why any Local Board cannot just put out for public consultation in the Herald and local media that they “intend to implement the new summer time and season rule in the new Auckland Dog Policy”. If the costs shown above, on this extremely simple matter, are indicative of Council spending on all projects no wonder our rates are causing so much pain to Auckland ratepayers.

Thank you to all our wonderful supporters over all these years. We are sorry that we have not succeeded on this occasion but we hope you will all encourage at least one more dog owner to join our group by joining up for our newsletter at and ‘liking' us on Facebook. We will watch with interest to see whether the promises at the April meeting from the Board Deputy Chair to achieve implementation of the new summer hours soon after Christmas will eventuate.

To read the staff report presented to the May meeting: Click HERE

Our strength is in our numbers and we will not stop supporting dog owners across Auckland who are striving for fairness. We welcome feedback to or dogfriends@PL.NET

Till next time ......

Dog Friends - Auckland Region & Rodney
Working hard as always for responsible dog owners!  

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