A woman had to "fight for her life'' after being knocked to the ground by a pack of seven dogs on a beach.

Lynda Goodwin-Blair and her cocker spaniel Zinny were both bitten after being attacked at Anaura Bay, on the East Coast, north of Gisborne over the weekend.

Her husband Ron was walking a few hundred yards behind his wife when he saw the dogs make "a beeline''

"They went for our cocker Zinny first but, by the time I got to them, Lynda was on the ground as well, literally fighting for her life.

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"My friend and I were beating them with a stick but they were determined to do some damage. It must have gone on for about three minutes ... but it seemed like an eternity.''

The dogs eventually backed off when a youngster on a quadbike called them and took them off the beach.

"We just sat there in shock. Nobody came down to see how we were ... there was nothing,'' said Mr Blair.

"The boy was about 14. We rang the police, who directed us towards animal control.''

All of the dogs have since been destroyed.

Gisborne District Council regulatory services manager Sarwan Kumar said the person in charge of the dogs had no control over them.

"Council staff identified and visited the owner on Sunday morning. The owner accepted that it was her dogs and surrendered them to the animal control officer.

Both Mrs Goodwin-Blair and Zinny are okay.

"My wife is a teacher and was back at school on Monday,'' said Mr Blair.

"She has a few nasty bite marks on her calf and is going to get checked out later.

"We took him to the vet and, thankfully, he's OK. Just a few puncture marks on his body and a sore paw, but he'll live.

"We always have him on a lead when walking and this just goes to show how important it is not to let your dogs just run loose.''