Hamilton's Dog Obedience Club members are wagging their tails as Hamilton's Rollerskating Club is chased off in its fight for more training time at the park they share.

Hamilton City Council voted last week to not proceed with a trial to see if the two clubs could run concurrently.

The roller skating club shares Melville Park with the Waikato Agility Group and the Hamilton Dog Obedience Club.

The roller skating club wanted to remove a condition in its lease which restricts members from practising on Wednesday and Thursday nights when the dog obedience club is in action.

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The condition was put in place to prevent distractions while the dogs were in training, however the roller skating club believes that this condition is no longer needed, and a trial would be beneficial to show council the two groups could run simultaneously.

But Clare Browne and James Carter from the dog club said a trial would not give council sufficient information to make an informed decision.

"We work with these dogs in a less stressful environment, and if we had to share with the roller skaters then these dogs would be surrounded by extra stimuli," Ms Browne told a council meeting that considered the matter.

"If this trial went ahead, it would invalidate any data you get from it because we wouldn't be doing what we usually do."

Kathy Moody from the Roller Skating Club said they had mitigated all of the dog club's concerns, and the trial should run.

"We have already been on the park for two years simultaneously and there have been no issues," Ms Moody said.

Councillor Geoff Taylor said that he could not support the trial, because he felt as if the dog club had been pushed around.

"I think a trial in itself would be a bit fraught. We have already heard the dog club would have to change the way they do things so they are pushed into a bit of a corner here," Mr Taylor said.

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"My reading of this is that the dog club has done most of the compromising here."
Councillor Mark Bunting said he did not think the trial would work, and could not support the trial either.

"I don't think the trial is actually going to work," Mr Bunting said. "The skaters went in there with full knowledge that there was a dog club next door, and to me this is starting to reek a bit of reverse sensitivity."

Councillor Leo Tooman questioned why this matter was before council, saying the dog club was only asking for three hours in a week.

"As far as I'm concerned, the original plan is not broken," Mr Tooman said.

Mayor Andrew King said he had observed training nights at the dog club, and that people were playing out on the fields where dogs were being trained. He believed the rollerskating club running at the same time would not affect the dog club.

"There is a bund that stops eye contact between the skaters and the dogs," Mr King said.
Councillors voted to not proceed with the trial, but also to remove a lease condition that would stop dog club users parking in the middle of the skating ring to prevent damage to the track.

After the meeting Ms Moody told Hamilton News that the council's decision was disappointing, while suggesting there may be other ways to find a compromise.

"Our suggestion is put a hedge along the fence so dogs can't see skaters, and maintained at a height suitable for the dog clubs. This would eliminate dogs from seeing anything.

"While this may take a year or so to grow, it would surely be a way forward. In my opinion, it should be about getting the best use out of the facility and all groups being able to work side by side in an environment that works," Ms Moody said.

Mayor Andrew King and councillors Rob Pascoe, Garry Mallett, Siggi Henry and Ryan Hamilton voted in favour of the motion of a trial period.

Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher and councillors Angela O'Leary, Leo Tooman, Mark Bunting, James Casson, Paula Southgate and Geoff Taylor were against.

Councillor Dave Macpherson was absent.