Northland's brilliant summer has turned out to be just that for everyone - except perhaps for dog owners in Whangārei.

The Whangārei Dog Park, on Pohe Island, closed in February for three months while major improvements to the drainage and immediate area surrounding the park were carried out.

Initially it was planned to re-open the park in early May, with the extended closure allowing the grass to grow back once the work had finished.

However, Whangārei District Council project engineer Fiona Pratt said it will now open in early June.

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"The main factor has been our incredible summer. Grass doesn't grow without rain."

She said the first mow will be done this weekend and then a re-sow will be carried out in areas where the grass is still either too sparse or hasn't taken.

Pratt said the council will keep the public informed as to exactly when the park will reopen.

Whangārei dogs and their owners will have to wait another month before they can enjoy the newly refurbished dog park on Pohe Island. Photo/John Stone
Whangārei dogs and their owners will have to wait another month before they can enjoy the newly refurbished dog park on Pohe Island. Photo/John Stone

She said so far "a considerable amount" of new drainage has been installed and the topsoil has been completely stripped from the entire area and replaced with a free-draining volcanic soil.

All the equipment on the dog agility course has been replaced, the dog agility track has been enlarged and upgraded to hardfill covered scoria - the original track was bark.

Bunds have also been constructed immediately outside the park fence in an attempt to add some amenity value. Pratt said these will be planted up as budgets allow.

As well as the mowing and re-sowing, a general tidy-up still needs to take place around the site.

She said the council is "hopeful" the work will solve drainage issues which have been a problem at the dog park in the past.

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The work has cost around $250,000 and is being carried out by local company Enviro360.

Whangārei Dog Park committee spokesperson Tony Gill said he could see both sides of the delay in opening.

He said it was a good thing the council "want to get it done properly" but the offshoot is that some dogs may have slipped back with their socialisation skills.

To counter that, Gill will be running dog training lessons at the temporary dog park in the near future.

The temporary park on the other side of Pohe Island has been open during the main park's closure but Gill said it is hard to access for some people.

To find out about the lessons, keep an eye on the Whangārei Public Dog Park Facebook page.