Dog poo has become an unwelcome feature of Whangārei's popular Hātea Loop and the pressure is being put on "irresponsible" dog owners to clean up their act.

Bob McLaney walks the loop daily. When the Northern Advocate spoke to him, he had his partner's dog Lulu with him and a plastic bag tied to the lead.

He said there was "quite a bit" of dog poo around the loop - not just off to the side but on the path and the bridges too.

"It's not everywhere but it could be a lot tidier."


Another woman, who did not want to be named, described it as "dog log central".

"It's actually quite disgusting."

She said she goes around the loop two or three times a week.

"When you're actually jogging that loop, you've got to watch where you're running."

The woman said when she takes her dog, she too takes a plastic bag.

First time Loop users Neville and Maree Stewart had made it less than 100 metres along the path when Maree had to stop and scoop up their dog Manchee's poo.

The couple agreed picking up after their dog was not hard.

"That's why we have a bag. It's just common sense."

Neville and Maree Stewart said it was not hard to pick up a dog's poo. Photo/Michael Cunningham
Neville and Maree Stewart said it was not hard to pick up a dog's poo. Photo/Michael Cunningham

Whangārei District Council parks technical officer Spencer Jellyman said the council is aware of the issue.

"It is not only an issue on the Hātea Loop but anywhere dog owners exercise their dogs."

Jellyman said while the council does not have a contractor looking specifically for dog poo, it has a contractor full time at the Town Basin and there is an expectation they would keep the site looking tidy, including dog poo.

"Other parts of the Hātea Loop have maintenance visits two weekly where part of the contractors' job is to remove litter. Dog poo would fall into this category."

Jellyman said the council would not consider supplying bags for people to use.

"Dog owners are responsible for supplying their own bags, and that is what responsible dog owners do."


He said there are plenty of rubbish bins spread out around the Hātea Loop for people to dispose of their dog poo.

Jellyman's message to dog owners who didn't pick up their poo was simple:

"I don't think there is a dog owner out there who doesn't know it's their responsibility to pick up after their dog. A large majority of dog owners are responsible, but the minority are fouling it up for everyone. I think those dog owners need to toughen up and pick up the poo."

He said the council was not considering more signs or education at this time.

"Those who disregard their responsibilities aren't going to be swayed by a few extra signs."