Kaupapa Here Tiaki Kurī 2010

Dog Control Policy 2010

Prepared under Section 10 of the Dog Control Act

This policy on dogs is prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Dog Control Act 1996 (‘the Act’) and came into force on 2010.
The policy was adjusted in November 2015.

This policy aims to give effect to the Act by protecting the health and safety of the public whilst ensuring the well-being and welfare of dogs is protected through responsible ownership.

The community expects dog owners to act as responsible owners. It is recognised that many in the community believe dogs can play a positive role in society and provide enjoyment for individuals and families.  This policy seeks to balance those two expectations.

Objective of this policy

The overriding objective of this policy is to encourage responsible dog ownership and community awareness to promote an environment where dogs and people can happily and peacefully co-exist.

In order to meet this objective, dog owners must:

  1. register their dog/s at 3 months of age and every year after;
  2. provide for the health and well being of their dog;
  3. keep their dogs under control when in a public place, particularly in and near places frequented by children;
  4. ensure their dog doesn’t cause a nuisance to neighbours and other people by persistent and loud barking or howling;
  5. keep their dog under direct control or confined on their property so it doesn’t wander or become lost;
  6. pick up any faeces left by their dog in public places or on land not occupied by the dog owner;
  7. take all reasonable steps to ensure their dog doesn’t injure, endanger, intimidate, or otherwise cause distress to children and other people so that the public can use streets and public amenities without fear of attack or intimidation;
  8. take all reasonable steps to ensure their dog doesn’t injure, endanger or cause distress to any stock, poultry, domestic animal, or protected wildlife and is kept out of prohibited areas;
  9. ensure their dog doesn’t damage or endanger any property belonging to other people;
  10. provide for the training, exercise and recreational needs of their dogs.

All dog owners must register their dogs so the council can identify the person responsible for the care and control of each dog and ensure that the costs of dog control are evenly distributed.  All dogs registered after 1 July 2006 must be microchipped.  Also from that date, all dogs that are classified as dangerous or menacing under the Dog Control Act 1996 (including dogs classified since 1 December 2003) are required to be microchipped.

How to achieve this:

1.1 Keep a register of dogs, provide information to the National Dog Control Information Database, set registration fees and provide dog owners with relevant information.
1.2  Inform and educate dog owners of the benefits of registration and microchipping.
1.3  Send annual registration renewal forms to all known dog owners.
1.4 Offer registration fee incentives for owners who have de-sexed their dog, passed a Dog Owner Licence test or paid their registration by the date given.
1.5  Target unregistered dogs and take strong enforcement action against owners of unregistered dogs.
1.6 To require dogs leaving the pound be registered before release.

The Council provides dog owners with a reasonable level of access to public places without compromising public safety and comfort.

How to achieve this:

2.1  When making bylaws controlling the access of dogs to public places, the council will:

2.1.1  Recognise the right of children and the general public to use public places without fear of attack or intimidation
2.1.2  Recognise the responsible dog owner as a user of public places;
2.1.3  Aim for peaceful co-existence between dogs and their owners with other park users;
2.1.4 Provide dog exercise areas in parks and reserves on a district wide basis;
2.1.5 Provide bins for dog faeces in designated dog exercise areas;
2.1.6 Ensure that designated dog exercise areas and playgrounds are well signposted and information is easily accessible for both dog owners and the general public;
2.1.7 To provide suitable signage in areas where dogs are prohibited, where they are required to be on a leash and where they can be off leash;
2.1.8  Protect sensitive public areas and significant ecological areas from dogs, such as areas where dogs may be a danger to children, wildlife or other animals, or where their presence may be offensive or disturbing eg. cemeteries.

2.2  The Council will make bylaws that are consistent with the above principles which:
2.2.1 Identify public places where dogs can either be exercised off a leash, or are required to be on a leash, or where they are prohibited;
2.2.2 Recognise that dogs confined in a vehicle or cage, dogs taking part in Council approved special events or working dogs carrying out work duties should not be prohibited from public places or required to be on a leash;
2.2.3  Require dog owners to, on all areas other than their own property, immediately remove any faeces left by their dog.
2.3 Inform dog owners of land within the Gisborne district that is included in a designated exercise area or a prohibited area or a controlled or open dog exercise area under the Conservation Act 1987.
2.4  Take enforcement action against owners who breach the Act or the Dog Control Bylaw by failing to contain or control their dogs.

Dog owners must be encouraged to meet their obligations under the Act, to protect their dog’s health and well-being and to ensure that neighbourhoods remain safe and pleasant.  A responsible dog owner will:

  • when purchasing a dog, ensure that the dog is suitable to their needs and their ability to care for the dog;
  • provide appropriate accommodation for the dog and the exercise space needed for the breed;
  • when in a public place carry a bag to pick up their dog faeces;
  • ensure that faeces is picked up;
  • attend appropriate dog owner and training courses; and
  • ensure that their dog/s don’t enter private land or prohibited Department of Conservation areas.

How to achieve this:

3.1  Reward dog owners demonstrating a specified level of responsible dog ownership.

3.2  Provide educational information on Council’s website on the shelter and health needs of dogs.

3.3 Include within the Dog Control Bylaw, limitations on the number of dogs that can be kept within the urban areas and only allow exemptions where there are no adverse effects.

3.4  Ensure dog owners take the necessary steps to ensure their dog’s health and well being.

3.5  Through the bylaw prescribe minimum accommodation standards for dogs.

Powers of enforcement under the Act should be used appropriately to ensure public safety and comfort and to penalise and deter irresponsible dog ownership.

How to achieve this:

4.1  Receive, investigate and resolve and respond to dog complaints from members of the public.

4.2  Remove dogs threatening public safety and comfort.

4.3  Assist dog owners and the public by:

  • giving out good dog owner information; or
  • issuing warnings; or
  • where appropriate issuing infringement notices, prosecuting owners and where required using menacing dog, dangerous dog, probationary and disqualified dog owner classifications; and
  • taking immediate enforcement action against unregistered dogs.

4.4  Require that all dogs classified as menacing dogs be neutered in accordance with s.33E(1)(b) of the Act within one month after receipt of notice of the classification.  In the case of dogs classified as menacing by another territorial authority, the dog be neutered within one month of registration with the Council.

4.5 Through the bylaw require dogs found to be not within the control of their owner by Animal Control Officers on more than three occasions within a one year period to be neutered.

4.6  Through the bylaw require bitches in season to be confined.

Dog Control Officers will work with schools, children and dog owners and the community so that the public is aware as to how to live with dogs.

How to achieve this:

5.1 Inform and educate dog owners and the general public through media such as brochures, the Council's website and school education programmes.

5.2 Promote the availability of dog obedience courses.

Adequate funding must be provided to maintain an acceptable level of dog management services.

When considering dog-related fees, the Council must take into account the user-pays principle, penalty-based fees, legislative requirements; the council’s funding policies, community responsibilities and recognition of responsible dog ownership.

Council’s current policy is that dog registration fees pay for 100 per cent of dog management related costs.

How to achieve this:

6.1  Set reasonable fees for the registration and control of dogs in accordance with the information above.

6.2 Set lower registration fees for working dogs and for owners demonstrating a specified level of responsible dog ownership.

6.3 Set a higher registration fee for owners who do not meet the date given for payment of registration fees.

Information will be gathered to determine if the Council’s methods are working towards achieving the objectives in this policy.

How to achieve this:

7.1 Report annually on the council’s administration of dog control methods and the dog policy.  The council must give public notice of the report and send a copy of it to the Secretary for Local Government.

Council recognises that where a person with special needs (certified by a medical practitioner) requires a special purpose dog, that dog is recognised as a working dog provided that dog has had training acceptable to the Chief Animal Control Officer.  This approval, where granted will allow the dog to enter public buildings and prohibited areas whilst it is working as a special purpose dog.

How to achieve this:

8.1 Where a dog provides for the special needs of a member of the public and this is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Chief Animal Control Officer, council will resolve that the dog will be a working dog for the purposes of Gisborne City’s Dog Control Bylaw.

Dogs may be exercised off leash within these areas between the hours of 6am and 9am outside school and public holidays.

Alfred Cox Park
Awapuni Stadium
Road End Reserve (Ballance Street)
Road End Reserve (Hall Street)
Road End Reserve (Sheehan Street)
Road End Reserve (Fox Street)
Road End Reserve (Stafford Street)
Road End Reserve (Fitzherbert Street)
Atkinson Park     
Centennial Crescent Reserve
Wainui Beach – During school & public holidays
Waikanae and Midway beaches to Pacific Street and associated foredune including walkways and adjoining public places.
Waikanae Beach
Kaiti Beach
Nelson Park
Titirangi Reserve (Kaiti Hill)
Reynolds Creek Reserve
Blackpool Street Reserve
London Street Reserve
Waikirikiri Reserve
Grant Road Reserve

Areas in which dogs may be exercised without physical constraint but under the oral command of their owners or on a lead:

1.    Coldstream Road Reserve
2.    Beach and Foreshore (Pacific Street to Waipaoa River)
3.    Nelson Park adjacent to footbridge
4.    Heath Johnson Park – (Paraone Road end)
5.    Ayton Park
6.    Wainui Beach – except school and public holidays

Areas in which dogs are prohibited:

Gladstone Road between Customhouse Street and Roebuck Road
Adventure Playground
Abbot Street Reserve
Alfred Cox Park
Ayton Park
Barry Park
Botanical Gardens
Childers Road Reserve
Titirangi Park
Churchill Park Motor Camp
Hei Pipi Reserve
Emily Street Reserve
Harry Barker Reserve
Ida Road Reserve
Kaiti Memorial Park
Kelvin Park
Mangapapa Park
Marina Park
Olympic Pool Complex
Innes Street Reserve
The Oval
Outdoor Theatre
Railway Reserve
Skateboard Park
Victoria Domain
Vivian Street Reserve
Waikanae Beach Motor Camp
Heath Johnston Park (Wainui Road end)
Midway Beach (Flagged area)
All of Gisborne Airport land
Mary Street Reserve
Blackpool Street Reserve
Rugby Park
Martin Street Reserve
Wainui Beach (Flagged area)
Kaiti Mall
Waiteata Park
Rutene Road Reserve
Anzac Park
Watson Park

These are a series of offences that are subject to fines or legal proceedings instituted.  The Animal Control Officer can issue instant fines for the following offences:


Brief description of offence

Infringement fee


Wilful obstruction of Animal Control Officer or Ranger.



Failure or refusal to supply information or wilfully providing false particulars.



Failure to supply information or wilfully providing false particulars about dog.



Failure to comply with any bylaw authorised by the Section.



Failure to comply with effects of disqualification.



Failure to comply with effects of classification of dog as dangerous dog.



Fraudulent sale or transfer of dangerous dog.



Failure to comply with effects of classification of dog as menacing dog.



Failure to implant microchip transponder in dog.



False statement relating to dog registration.



Failure to register dog.



Fraudulent procurement or attempt to procure replacement dog registration label or disc.



Failure to advise change of dog ownership.



Failure to advise change of address



Removal, swapping or counterfeiting of registration label or disc.



Failure to keep dog controlled or confined.



Failure to keep dog under control.



Failure to provide proper care and attention, to supply proper and sufficient food, water and shelter and to provide adequate exercise.



Failure to carry leash in public.



Allowing dog known to be dangerous to be at large unmuzzled or unleashed


Download full document

Gisborne District Council Dog Control Policy 2010
(Adjusted in November 2015)