Wanaka residents Jan and Graham Dickson are unhappy the
Queenstown Lakes District Council's draft dog control bylaw
would stop them from letting their Border terrier Meg off
her leash on some of their favourite walking tracks and
reserves, including Lismore Park (pictured). Photo by Lucy
The Queenstown Lakes District Council's draft dog control
bylaw has been criticised for being complex and overly
Wanaka resident Graham Dickson is concerned about the effect
of the bylaw's tighter rules and the difficulty the average
dog owner will have in interpreting them.
If approved, the bylaw would require all dogs to be under
control on a leash in all cemeteries, playgrounds and other
public places, except areas designated by the council as dog
exercise areas - of which there are none at present - and in
the rural general zone.
The rule would apply to parts of public walking tracks and
some reserves, which are both areas where the district's dogs
can lawfully be off their leash at present under the existing
QLDC Dog Control Bylaw 2006.
''I'd have to look at a zoning map to find out where the
rural general was ... how are people meant to possibly
know?'' Mr Dickson said.
The bylaw's ''arbitrariness'' meant areas like Pembroke Park
and the Wanaka Showgrounds were in the zone so would not
require dogs to be on a leash, but reserves within
residential zones such as Lismore Park and Kelly's Flat
QLDC regulatory manager Lee Webster said the council would
use signs and possibly a map attached to the bylaw to educate
dog owners about prohibited or restricted areas.
The amended dog control policy and bylaw was drafted
following community consultation earlier this year via an
Of the nearly 1000 survey respondents, 56% said there should
be no restrictions on where dogs were allowed, while the rest
believed dogs should not be free to roam.
Of those wanting restrictions, most said dogs should be
either on a lead or banned altogether from schools,
playgrounds and cemeteries.
Although 53% said verbal control over dogs on council-owned
reserves and public walking tracks was sufficient, 41.5%
thought a lead was necessary.
''What we were trying to get was the balance between, yes,
people wanted to be able to run their dogs, but also the fact
that when there's a lot of people around we want those dogs
to be on a lead rather than just under voice control,'' Mr
On average, the council received ''one or two'' complaints
about dogs attacking other dogs each month, which the tighter
controls aimed to address.
However, Mr Dickson said keeping a dog on a leash did not
guarantee no problems.
''The only attack on my dog while walking on the walkway has
been from a large dog on a leash.''
He believed the new restrictions, including the
''unnecessary'' banning of dogs from schools, would severely
affect the ability to exercise dogs and ''reduce quality of
life for both dogs and owners''.
Dog control bylaw submissions close on June 30 and a hearing
is scheduled for July 17 in Queenstown.