Bay of Islands Watchdogs fear that the current moves to identify Significant Natural Areas (SNAs) is part of a not so thin end of a wedge that many people are not aware of.
"There are other examples of the absurd, terrible intrusion this BS is already having on our lives," spokesperson Leonie Exel said.
"We first tried to get data from the Far North District Council on how many properties have dog and cat bans in the district in 2018. They said their system couldn't do it, but they were working on it. We were worried, as people were having difficulty finding land or homes that did not have a dog ban. Now the council has told us that they don't think they have to give us that data, and even if they did, it wouldn't matter.
"We are gathering the information elsewhere, and it is likely to be an enormous amount of land."
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The Watchdogs had also received a copy of the council's 'Practice Note for Significant Indigenous Flora and Fauna' (formerly a 'Practice Note for Applying No Dog/Cat Conditions to Sub-Division Consents'), for use in relation to covenants and sub-divisions.
"We believe it will be their blueprint for SNAs," Exel said.
"Highlights include the need to net all your fruiting berry trees so birds cannot spread the seeds from them, a requirement to have a 'qualified arborist' to cut any bit of any tree in the protected area, and council approval pre- and post the event, and a zero to two-dog maximum (even for working dogs) in areas that have 'kiwi present' or are 'high-density kiwi.'
"They also say: 'In areas where dogs, cats, possums, rats, mustelids and other pest species are having adverse effects on indigenous fauna their removal is promoted.'
"The council's example of a conservation covenant, whose purpose is to save the northern brown kiwi, deters potential mammalian kiwi predators, or carnivorous or omnivorous exotic animals (aka dogs and cats), from being kept or introduced to the site.
"If you let them have an absurd level of control, and take away your right to have a pet in your home, you can pay no rates, or less rates at least, on that bit of land," she added.
"So much of Northland is already stuck with these bans and covenants, and more are coming soon with SNAs, we think."