Friends of the East Taieri Dog Park members (from left)
Glen Munn, Chris Burrows and Joy Hawley, with dog Tor, say
improvements are urgently needed for the dog park. Photo by
East Taieri Dog Park (ETDP) users are calling on the
Dunedin City Council to improve the state of the park.
Friends of the ETDP member Chris Burrows said the park was
extensively used by local dog owners and by dog owners from
A petition with 112 signatures supporting an upgrade to the
park had been collected.
These were presented to the council along with a submission
asking for an upgrade to the park.
The ETDP was established on land with poor natural drainage
and was bisected by a narrow watercourse flowing into and out
of neighbouring farmland.
Lack of effective drainage meant the land was often wet and
slippery. Patrons, especially the elderly, were at risk of
slipping and there had already been some instances of people
falling down, he said.
There was also concern a child might fall into a bog and
The boggy waterways were a great attraction to dogs and the
dogs came out covered in a thick sludge which was known to
cause sickness, he said.
The other main issue was a total lack of lighting in the
Many patrons could only use the park outside business hours
which, for much of the year, meant going there in the dark.
This created a safety and security issue, especially for
women, Mr Burrows said.
Other issues raised included establishing a shelter for bad
weather, controlling a significant gorse problem on the
northern boundary fence, and topping the barley grass to
ensure it did not reseed.
According to the submission, barley grass was one of the
worst things to be found in an area where dogs exercised. It
could bore into their bodies and cause fatal injuries if left
''The dog park provides really valuable social opportunities
for both dogs and people. lt brings people together because
of a common interest and enriches the experience of dog
ownership because it is shared.
"lt provides a communal context for some people who might not
otherwise have one. So in this sense as a public amenity it
punches well above its weight,'' the submission said.
Park users made a submission asking for an upgrade last year,
but this had been turned down due to a lack of funds.