After a bit of tugging on the lead and then showing some fine agility skills, the Far North District Council has agreed to underwrite a $186,000 loan to a Kerikeri dog park trust.

Chairman of Friends of Roland's Wood (FoRW) Trust, Simon Upperton said he is pleased the council changed its mind after it earlier - twice - turned down a request to help the trust buy 5.4 hectares adjoining the dog recreation park on Inlet Rd.

The purchase enables the trust to double the size of the existing park which was donated to the public in 2001 by the late Roland Samson.

To pay the loan back and put development money in the kitty, the trust intends selling sections of the newly acquired land which already has subdivision consent.


The council approved the bridging finance for a two year period at last Thursday's meeting.

Mayor John Carter congratulated FoRW for its tenacity.

''We do need a green belt in Kerikeri,'' he said.

A corner of the existing 4.5ha park lies within the boundaries of the new parcel referred to as ''Lavender's Land''.

Mr Upperton said if that adjacent land, which is being sold by the estate of Mr Samson's late sister Lavender, had gone to another purchaser, a chunk of the existing dog park would have gone with it.

Now the trust can develop a bigger carpark off the main road to replace the current space which only takes four vehicles, and make a driveway way for trucks and other machinery to access the land.

Future plans could include a fenced agility course, a children's playground and barbecue facilities.