Our annual reminder for payment of compulsory dog registration fees arrived in our postbox again last month. There are numerous legal requirements, along with accompanying costs, which must be met by the owner under the Dog Control Act 1996 - none of which do I have any issue with. But nowhere can I find any reference to any service provided by the council to me as a responsible dog owner. This prompts us to ask the question: "What exactly does Auckland Council do for these fees?" John Kothe, Auckland.
According to Auckland Council's website, your dog registration fees pay for animal management services, including:
*Education and advice - publications, school visits, the website and dog obedience classes.
*24-hour dog management services especially at beaches and reserves.
*Resolving complaints, for instance wandering, noisy or aggressive dogs.
*Taking action, such as issuing fines, classifying dogs and owners, and taking court action.
*Providing accommodation (the pound) for lost, wandering and seized dogs.
*Updating the national dog database which records details of registered dogs in the council area.
*Site inspections for responsible dog owner licences.
The new electric trains look good, feel good, and sound good, but there are some questions you may be able to find answers to as there are still lingering memories of the events on the opening night of the Rugby World Cup 2011. In the event of a system power outage which will occur, hopefully rarely, what will happen to the functioning of the onboard systems such as air conditioning, ventilation, interior lighting, operation of doors, public address system? If there is the possibility of such an outage lasting for an hour what is the rail management emergency operational plan for passenger safety and comfort? Brian Fickling, Auckland.
With no power from the overhead system the electric trains will come to a safe stop. The brake system is designed to prevent any further movement. There are very large batteries beneath the floor in the centre car with enough capacity to provide lighting, fresh air and communications for up to three hours. The electric trains are designed to be able to be recovered by a diesel locomotive so, if power was not restored for a long period, it is possible to get a tow home. The traction network is supplied by dedicated cables from two separate Transpower substations which feed to separate but interlinked rail substations. The traction system supplying the trains is fed from substations that have a redundancy built in to reduce the likelihood of a blackout occurring.
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