Should there be a dog exercise area in Cummings Park?

Should the Cummings Park DEA remain?

As part of its dog policy review, the Wellington City Council will be considering whether or not the Dog Exercise Area (DEA) in Cummings Park should be retained. Submissions close on 2 May.

The DEA is the area between the carpark below the Ngaio shops and the stream.

The retention or delisting of the DEA greatly affects the future use of Cummings Park both for dog owners and other park users. That’s why we urge Ngaio residents to carefully consider the information below and submit their views to the Council.

The community workshop on developing a vision for Cummings Park

The future of the Dog Exercise Area (DEA) was the most contentious issue raised in a community workshop held last year on developing a vision for Cummings Park. Work on following up on the workshop with further community consultation is planned.

A report on the workshop provides an excellent source of views about the DEA which may help shape your thinking. Go here to see the report.

Wellington City Council dog policy review

The Wellington City Council is currently consulting on changes to its dog policy. The relevant documents for the dog policy are available on the WCC website. Dog exercise areas are part of the review.

A broad range of issues relating to dogs are covered in the Review, and you may wish to address any or all of these in a submission. In the case of the Cummings Park DEA, you may wish, for example, to express support for or opposition to its retention, or suggest improvements. It’s better if you can give reasons for your views.

Council documents show there are three DEAs in Ngaio: Cummings Park, Chelmsford Reserve and Trelissick Park. Two more, in the Silverstream Road and Odell reserves, are close by. Chelmsford Reserve is a 5 minute walk from Cummings Park.

Criteria for off-leash dog exercise areas

The Council’s Statement of Proposal lists the criteria proposed for determining DEAs. This states:

“The criteria used to determine exercise areas for dogs include:

  • the area is not used extensively for sporting or other purposes the area is of significant size and has appropriate access
  • there are sufficient sight lines
  • the area is well bounded from adjacent areas
  • new areas must be fenced if they are adjacent to a road.”

What the Council must consider

The Statement of Proposal also notes that, under Section 10(4) of the Dog Control Act 1996, “when adopting a policy on dogs the Council must consider:

  • the need to minimise danger, distress and nuisance to the community generally
  • the need to avoid the inherent danger of uncontrolled dogs in public places frequented by children, whether or not the children are accompanied by adults
  • the importance of enabling the public (including families) to use streets and public amenities without fear of attack or intimidation by dogs
  • the exercise and recreational needs of dogs and their owners.”

 How to make a submission

You can make a submission in one of three ways:

What to include in your submission

The pdf and online forms request identical information. You may chose to answer between one and all of the 12 questions about dog policy. If you wish to address an issue relating to the Dog Exercise Area in Cummings Park you can do so in response to question 11.

Please note the Privacy Statement on the form advises that all submissions (including name and contact details) are published. However, only the first and last name fields are mandatory. The Council has advised us that if you wish to remain anonymous you need to make this clear on the submission form or in your emailed submission.

We recommend that, even if not giving other contact details, you complete the “Suburb” field.

Updated at 1.45pm on 26 April 2016 by John

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