Canines to get dedicated space

Working to create east Auckland’s first fenced-off dog park are, from left, Howick Local Board chairwoman Adele White and board members Bruce Kendall and David Collings. Times photo Wayne Martin

People are being asked to have their say on a proposal to create east Auckland’s first enclosed dog park.

Public submissions close on July 25 on a plan to build the fenced-off space at Macleans Park in Bucklands Beach.

The Howick Local Board initiative would be the first of its kind in the area and would create an off-leash area with double-gated access in which dogs can run and play with their furry friends.

Board chairperson Adele White says the initiative began seven years ago when a dog trainer suggested during the consultation phase of the board’s plan that it consider creating a dog park in the Howick ward.

“Local boards since have been keen to pursue this and we’re continuing that consultation now on the choice of sites.

“We’ve seen the popularity of dog parks around Auckland.

“We’re looking for sites that are easily located and accessible to the public.”

Two locations at Macleans Park have been put forward for people to say which they prefer and why.

The first is in the park directly opposite Charles Dickens Drive.

The council says it’s a flat, open, visible area that’s accessible, has car parking a short walk away in Macleans Road, and has seating and a rubbish bin.

The downside is limited car parking on Charles Dickens Drive, possible noise disturbance for neighbours, and it would be in sight of neighbouring properties, the council says.

The second potential location at the park is accessed from Macleans Road and is adjacent to Macleans College.

It’s also an open, visible, and accessible spot, and has car parking in Macleans Road.

Its negatives are being in sight of neighbouring properties, it may make the park look crowded, and noise.

White says creating a fenced-off dog park at Macleans Park will not take away the existing off-leash area popular with local dog owners.

“That is well used and I’m sure it will continue to be.”

Board member Bruce Kendall says the fenced-off space will be useful for people who want an enclosed area to train or socialise their dogs with others.

“Especially if their dog is young and doesn’t have good recall,” he says.

“It may tend to take off and go onto the road, or annoy people who are not used to dogs.

“Dogs that are well-trained are fine off-leash.”

White says the board is “contemplating” establishing a fenced-off dog park in each of the Howick ward’s three subdivisions.

She says the first one, in Macleans Park, will not obstruct views of the area.

Kendall adds: “We had expert advisors from the council come to us with a list of requirements, including around safety, not blocking the view, and being close to the road so it’s easily accessible.”

Council officers will meet with the board at the end of August to discuss public feedback and consider the next steps.

The board will then make a final decision on the location of the dog park at its business meeting in September.

To make a submission, go to www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz and search for “dog park”, or email howicklocalparks@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz before July 25.