Full cover for this labrador in a rash shirt and cap. 080421hcp09.jpg
By Alison Smith
The hounds were unleashed on the last day of the season at Whangamata Community Pool.
About 37 dogs donned doggy toggy fashion to flatter their furry curves - though some went commando - and the community pool really went to the dogs on Easter Monday.
A fun day was had by all when the canines were let loose for the first time in the pool for splashy exercise while their humans sat on the sidelines.
Pool committee member Graeme Smith says it was the first time the event had been held and is part of a drive to get regular events scheduled to increase community enjoyment of the pool.
Dogs were welcomed for three hours on Easter Monday with no additional facilities brought in to cater to the animals - such as lamp posts - since the dogs in togs is the last public session for the season.
Now the pools are shut down until next season. Before the 2021-22 season the pool is drained, cleaned and refilled.
"We want to encourage events that are fun for all of the community and that's why we came up with dogs in togs," said Graeme, who also manned the barbecue sizzling sausages (for the dogs, as well as humans).
"We want to have regular events so people can say 'what's on at the pool?', and I want to have the sausage sizzle happening every Saturday afternoon because when kids come out of the pool they're hungry - they can hoover down two or three sausages no problem."
Whangamata Community Pool is at the Whangamata Area School grounds but was built by volunteers and is owned by the Whangamata community.
It receives a Thames-Coromandel District Council grant of $35,000 that helps in the operation of the facility in the summer season and the committee has requested a one-off $500,000 grant to undertake upgrades.
Under the proposed long term plan, TCDC's preferred option is to provide two-thirds of the total cost of the proposed improvements conditional on the community first raising $167,000. This would be funded by Whangamatā ratepayers at $60 a household for the 2021-22 year.
A second option of providing the full $500,000 will raise the average rates per rating unit
in Whangamatā by $90 in 2021-22 only. A final option is to not provide any grant beyond the present, much-smaller amount.
Consultation on the LTP - including many other proposals - is open and can be found online at tcdc.govt.nz/longtermplan2021. Submissions close on Monday, April 12.
Among the dogs was CJ the Jack Russell from Tairua and Otis the caboodle, owned by Whangamata bach owner Greg Murphy and family.
His daughters Ava, 5, and Grace, 7, planned Otis' outfit, which included raiding their mum's wardrobe.
"I think it's great given that it's the last day of the season, and it brings people together and helps out from a fundraising point of view," said Greg. "Otis regularly swims across the Otahu Estuary at low tide so we won't even need a flotation device for him."
For more dogs in togs photos see page 12.