Announced today on April 1, from July 1 Napier City Council will require all dogs to wear canine nappies in public places.
This initiative has been introduced in response to complaints from the public about the amount of dog droppings in the city's parks and reserves.
The specially-designed canine nappies are made from environmentally-friendly materials and are fully biodegradable. They will come in three sizes to ensure a secure fit for dogs of all shapes and sizes and will be a gender-neutral colour.
The nappies, based on a Parisian design, are branded with the Napier City Council logo. Owners must use the Council-branded nappies, as these are the only canine nappies that are fully biodegradable. Nappies will be available for purchase from Napier supermarkets from early June. They are likely to cost around $2.50 each and will come in packs of 10.
"For years we have tried to educate the city's dog-owning public to carry plastic bags and pick up their dog's droppings. This seems to have fallen on deaf ears," says City Services Director Lance Titter.
"Not only that, plastic bags are non-recyclable and non-biodegradable. This new initiative solves two problems – the elimination of dog droppings in public spaces, and waste minimisation through a reduction in non-biodegradable plastic bags."
"We realise this will be adding an additional cost burden to dog-owners, but in the long-term the benefits are worth it."
Dogs not wearing a nappy in public spaces from 1 July will have their owners liable for an instant fine of $50.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Readers please take note of the date this news has been announced