New dog control bylaw 'clarifications' issued

Just to clarify: it will still be permissible under the Queenstown Lakes District Council's proposed new dog control bylaw and policy to let Rover off his leash to fetch a stick from Lakes Wanaka and Wakatipu.

Luckily for canines, the lakes are appropriately zoned to allow a hot dog, after a long walk on the leash, to spend a moment or two splashing through the shallows to cool off.

The only catch will be that once back on dry land zoned urban residential, or business and industrial or council reserve, dogs' will need to be reattached to leashes forthwith.

To help smooth the way for today's public hearing into the council's new bylaw and policy, council staff posted on the council's website a summary of the 98 written submissions received and some ''points of clarification''.

They say the ''most significant'' issue raised is around dogs being on or off their leads.

While dogs should be on a leash in many public areas, one place they can roam free under ''verbal control'' is the rural general zone.

The summary of submissions points out that some submitters were unclear about where the rural general zone was and it suggests providing maps and education for dog owners.

And then it goes on to clarify the rule on the fetching of sticks.

''A few submissions were received,'' the summary says, ''regarding the restriction of being able to exercise dogs, i.e. how a dog can fetch a stick from the lake if it is on a leash.

''Clarification: the lake is zoned rural general, therefore it is permitted for a dog not to be on a leash in this area.''

The thorny issue of dog control will the subject of a public hearing in Wanaka today.

A hearing was scheduled for Queenstown tomorrow, but was cancelled because there were no submitters who wished to speak.

mark.price@odt.co.nz