It's the season of long walks on the beach, playing fetch with eager dogs - but only during certain times, as Auckland Council introduces new rules.

Until the beginning of March this year, dogs are only allowed at public hotspots, such as beaches and parks, before 10am and after 5pm.

The rules were introduced in areas that already had a time and season rule in place.

Outside the summer season there's no time rules on when your pooch can run free.


The addition of summer season time rules is part of implemented changes to the Dog Management Bylaw implemented by the Council on November 1 last year, making rules consistent across Auckland, the Council said.

Kerri Fergusson, of Auckland Council's Animal Management team, said the rule change allowed dog owners to spend more time with their pets at council-controlled public areas.

"Time and season rules are used in popular places, during busy periods to help maintain a safe environment for dogs and people," she said.

"Dog owners still need to be mindful of others around them at all times and it's imperative the rules are understood and followed as to avoid any form of incident and enforcement action, including infringements."

Dog owners copped 197 infringement notices from the council between November 1 2019 and January 8 2020, the council said.

Each notice carried a $300 fine.

Wandering dogs were the biggest culprit, resulting in 122 infringements.

Dogs roaming free off a leash were the second biggest issues, with 40 infringements, and 35 infringements were issued for the owner failing to control their dog.


Kerri said dog owners need to familiarise themselves with the council's new Policy on Dogs 2019 and Dog Management Bylaw.

"Dog owners need to know what their obligations are and if unsure call us or check out the new bylaw rules on our website."

Seasonal dog beach access is in place at St Heliers Bay, among other areas. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Seasonal dog beach access is in place at St Heliers Bay, among other areas. Photo / Jason Oxenham

For the protection of wildlife, there have been changed to the dog access rules in Glenfern Sanctuary, Muriwai Regional Park, Long Bay Regional Park, Waitakere Regional Park – Whatipu, Shakespear Regional Park and Te Arai Regional Park.

The bylaw also allows temporary changes to be made to where dogs are allowed to protect vulnerable wildlife.

This allows for flexible changes to access rules in areas where concerns, such as kauri dieback disease, threaten the environment, the Council said.

In regional parks where stock is kept, there is the standard lambing season banning dogs from accessing between July 1 and December 1.

This will be active from July onwards at Hūnua Ranges, Mahurangi, Ōmana, Pakiri, Tāpapakanga, Te Rau Pūriri, Waitawa, and Wenderholm.

Residents who own more than two dogs must obtain a Multiple Dog Ownership Licence, a move to make the rules consistent across the region.

If bad behaviours has led to the dog being classified as menacing, the owner can ask the council to reassess that definition.

The owner would need to provide a dog behavioural assessment report, the dog must not have any further infringements in a year period, and the owner must obtain a responsible dog ownership licence from Auckland Council.

Auckland Council adopts new rules for dogs on beaches
Auckland Council U-turn over rules for dogs on beaches
Barking up the wrong tree: Auckland Council changes tack with dog fine letters

The goal of the rules was for dogs to be a positive part of Auckland life, Auckland Councillor and Regulatory Committee Chairperson Linda Cooper said.

"We love dogs in Auckland – we have over 110,000 registered.

"It's important that they are able to get out with their owners and enjoy parks and beaches together, while making sure that other people still have a good time in these places that we share as a community."

New bylaw signs were to be installed across Auckland, with 33,000 signs due to be installed on 3300 beaches and parks.

What's changing:

• New summer rules prohibiting dog access from 10am - 5pm has been introduced in area that already had a time and season rule in place.

• The rules began on December 1 and will end March 1, at the end of the summer season.

• Local boards will decide whether to apply a time and season rule to a specific park or beach, which will only impact that area.

• Where access is permitted and what kind of access (on or off leash, prohibited, designated dog area), will be decided by local boards.

For more information, check the Auckland Council's website.