Waikato District Council has added Kowhai Reserve to the Dog Control Bylaw as an off-leash dog exercise area. It has also reintroduced Centennial Park, on the corner of Bollard Road and Park Avenue, to the bylaw as an off-leash dog exercise area following its removal in 2015.
Council recognises that Tuakau is a growing community and appreciates the need to provide areas for people to exercise their dogs. There are currently 2589 dogs registered to residents in Tuakau.
“Centennial park was originally removed because there were concerns that the park was too small and also too close to a children’s play area,” says Animal Control Team Leader, Megan May. “Since then, we’ve had an overwhelming level of interest and support to reinstate the park as an off-leash exercise area.”
Public consultation around the two areas was carried out in August and September. Council received 194 submissions with 89.5% support for Centennial Park and 95% support for Kowhai Reserve. The main opposition to Centennial Park was because of concerns around the playground.
Following the decision this week, Council staff will work with the Tuakau Community Board to decide on the best place to fence around the children’s play areas. Fencing will occur in the new year.
The other existing off-leash exercise areas in Tuakau, which have not changed, are Alexandra Redoubt Reserve and Les Batkin Reserve.