Better enforcement of the existing Queenstown Lakes dog
control bylaw would negate the need for a stricter regime,
dog-owners told a hearings panel in Wanaka yesterday.
Councillors Calum MacLeod, Merv Aoke and Lex Perkins heard
submitters' views on the Queenstown Lakes District Council's
new draft dog control bylaw and policy, which attracted 98
Most of those objected to the proposal to restrict dogs off
leads in public areas to the rural general zone and were
particularly concerned about the need to have dogs on leads
on tracks and reserves.
''Why don't you start by enforcing the policies that already
exist ... before you start building these laws that don't
really have a purpose?'' Jennifer Parr, of Albert Town, asked
at the hearing.
Aubrey Rd resident Nicole Meldrum said there were some
''really positive things'' in the draft document, most of
which were already in the 2006 bylaw.
''However, there's no enforcement and I would question if
you're going to put in a lot more restriction how are you
going to enforce it?
"It's going to take a greater investment to suddenly control
Wanaka resident Graham Dickson said the estimated one or two
dog attacks reported to the council each month were a
''pretty minor level of complaint to put a major control
There was no justification for tighter restrictions and
existing legislation worked well, he said.
Despite having 30 years planning experience, Mr Dickson
struggled to understand how the district's zoning applied to
dog lead restrictions.
''If I can't find my way around these things, how's the
public going to use the rural general zoning as the basis of
where they can let their dog off.''
Kingston dog-owner Graham Dalziel said the council should
avoid becoming the ''fun police'' for the district's largely
well-behaved dogs who contributed a lot to society.
''I don't want the many good attributes of dogs being
overlooked when the council is writing its legislation, just
because of the irresponsible actions of a few recidivists.''
Ms Parr said funding from dog registrations would be better
spent on community dog education sessions rather than
building dog parks, which assumed dogs were going to behave
''There's no need to build prisons in the anticipation of
Wakatipu Dog Agility Club member and council staff member
Denis Mander asked that Queenstown's Jardine Park - where the
club trains - be designated as a dog exercise area before the
bylaw came into effect.
Cardrona Valley farmer Issi Anderson called for reduced fees
for registration of working dogs - which were not heavy users
of the district's dog control resources - and the inclusion
of pest control dogs in the working dog category.
While the $30 registration fee per working dog was less than
a companion dog, the cost soon added up for farmers, as
having to seven or eight dogs was not unusual, Ms Anderson
Avalanche dog trainer Callum Grant, of Albert Town, said
rescue dogs needed to be trained off-lead in public places
and the proposed new bylaw would prevent that.
He suggested the council provide handouts outlining basic
training tips and dog control policies to people registering
young dogs and suggested a council officer patrol popular
dog-walking areas on occasion, to enforce removal of dog
QLDC regulatory manager Lee Webster said if hearings panel
members decided a significant change to the draft bylaw was
needed, such as permitting dogs off-lead on all tracks and
reserves, the council would have to do further public
''It's about getting this bylaw right for the needs of the
community. It's as simple as that,'' Mr Webster said.