Top Reasons given for keeping the Dog Exercise Area (DEA) in Cummings Park

NOTE: The “reasons” are as provided by those wanting to keep the DEA. The “arguments against the reasons” are as provided by those wanting to close the DEA. Neither in any way represent the views of the Ngaio Crofton Downs Residents Association which has adopted a neutral position.

Information provided to NCDRA from WCC has been made available to those both wishing to keep or close the Cummings Park DEA to use as they see fit.

 ReasonArgument against the reason
1The Cummings Park DEA is extensively used and appreciated by people exercising dogs. Tens of people and dogs use it every day. Based on city-wide figures, there is around 1 registered dog for every 6 households in Ngaio.The dog owners who use the DEA are a very small proportion of Ngaio residents.
2Dog owners have a history of using the DEA as a social gathering place for both people and dogs, helping to build a sense of community. A number of regulars use it on a daily basis. Evidence is lacking on how many people used the area before it was a DEA, and for what purpose. There was some dog exercising there before it became a DEA.Prior to the establishment of the DEA around 1996, for 70 years it had been used by the community for a wide variety of purposes. As a DEA it deters many as a potential social gathering place.
3Chelmsford Reserve IS NOT a suitable alternative to the DEA in Cummings Park (click here to see why some people think this)Chelmsford Reserve IS a suitable alternative to the DEA in Cummings Park (click here to see why some people think this).
4The DEA is safe, and has parts sheltered from both sun and wind.This also applies for alternative uses of the area. Not all dog owners think Cummings Park is safe for their dog with some preferring a DEA elsewhere.
5The DEA is easily accessed, particularly from the adjacent carpark, which is important for elderly and less mobile dog owners.This also applies for alternative uses of the area.The carpark often full during the week.
NCDRA has received the following information from WCC: “The carpark at Cummings Park is privately owned, and Council can’t guarantee future use”.
6Older residents meet and socialise at the DEA, some on a daily basis, which is important as many elderly people appreciate and benefit from opportunities to socialise.Many other older residents would be more prepared to meet and socialise there if it wasn’t a DEA.
7The DEA is good for disabled dog owners and friends of dog owners. It is one of the few DEAs with good access for disabled people.
The state of the turf may affect access for some disabled people, but this is not solely due to dog use. Any high use will affect this.
The area would be ideal for all disabled people. The state of the turf resulting from its use as a DEA inhibits its use by less mobile people.
8Families with both children and dogs can together enjoy the facilities in Cummings Park which has both a DEA and playground.
Many children are happy to share the area with dogs and get benefit from this.
Some children are not comfortable with dogs, and are inhibited from using the area. The nearby park on Silverstream Road in Crofton Downs also has a DEA and playground.
9It’s good for children to learn how to interact with dogs, and the DEA provides an opportunity for children to meet dogs in a controlled, supervised and positive environment. Many regulars have very well-behaved dogs which fosters positive interaction. Caregivers and children not wishing to interact with dogs have perfectly good access to the playground without going through the DEA.Children visiting the area cannot avoid interaction with dogs. They and they and their caregivers should have options about where they choose to do this. DEA users should not assume everyone shares their love of dogs.
Children will still be able to interact with on-leash dogs in the Park.