Dog owners will not be allowed to walk their dogs at the Rotorua Lakefront or Village Green but will be allowed to use part of Kuirau Park to exercise their pets.
Rotorua District Councillors decided yesterday not to go ahead with a proposal to allow dogs back into the central business district, or central city parks, at a meeting of the council's Economic and Regulatory Services committee.
Some councillors argued it was too much of a change to the council's proposed Dog Control Bylaw and Dog Policy that went out for public consultation in April and would require more public consultation.
In August, Rotorua district councillors voted 6-5 in favour of receiving a report from staff regarding a proposal to allow dogs back into some central city reserves.
The proposal was to allow dog owners to exercise their animals while on a lead in Kuirau Park, the Village Green and Rotorua Lakefront from 6am to 9am and 6pm to 9pm, seven days a week.
The proposal did not include the Government Gardens and if further public consultation was required, would have cost ratepayers between $15,000 and $20,000.
Councillor Janet Wepa said she was not comfortable making such changes without going out for more public consultation.
"I think the public perception will be dodgy ... I will vote against it," she said.
However, councillors decided to allow dogs to be walked off-lead in the northern part of Kuirau Park near Lake Rd, bordered by the Aquatic Centre, Kuirau St and Ranolf St.
Councillor Charles Sturt said he could support the Kuirau Park addition saying more people using the northern end of the park would bring more people to the area.
Councillor Maggie Bentley said it could also cater for holiday-makers coming to Rotorua who needed a place near the city to exercise their dogs.
Committee chairman Mike McVicker said he was disappointed his colleagues did not see the benefits of allowing dogs back into the central city.
"I suggest a certain amount of scaremongering has gone on. I know people who won't come to Rotorua because we won't let them bring their dogs into the city. Many other cities around the world allow it, I don't see any good reason why we can't," he said.
Councillors Maureen Waaka and Janet Wepa voted against the change.
The council's revised Dog Control Bylaw comes into effect on October 8 and can be found on the council's website, www.rdc.govt.nz.