Auckland is set to follow in Wellington's lead in allowing pets to ride on the city's trains and buses.

Auckland Council's planning committee unanimously voted on Tuesday in favour of a proposal put forward by Councillor Cathy Casey, to let pets on all modes of public transport.

The move comes after the Wellington City Council, who proposed in March that pets be allowed on its buses and trains, on the conditions that they be kept in suitable carriers and travelled during off-peak hours.

There was no barking by those giving public submissions in the lead-up to the vote, just suggestions on how it could work.


Anne Batley Burton who chairs the NZ Cat Foundation, suggested there could be a special carriage in a train or a section on certain buses to accommodate pets and to also keep those less-animal-friendly people happy.

Dog owner Toni Millar argued that the fitted wrap she kept her dog Toby in, worked better for her in reducing space taken up on the bus and ensuring he behaved.

"He is equally as good in his cage. But for me, to walk onto a bus, that's a heck of a thing to carry," she said.

SPCA veterinarian Dr Sarah Zito pointed out that most people's concerns around pets on public transport were to do with issues relating to hygiene, safety and nuisance.

It's now up to Auckland Transport to decide if pets will be allowed to travel on Auckland's buses and trains. Photo / 123RF
It's now up to Auckland Transport to decide if pets will be allowed to travel on Auckland's buses and trains. Photo / 123RF

"We believe that all of these concerns can be well managed by responsible animal guardians," she said.

Dr Zito said it was important that guidelines were laid out.

"Making sure that cats and other small animals are carried in a suitable carrier ... making sure that dogs are on a leash and under control at all times," she said.

"The other thing that could be quite helpful is just to make sure that the person in charge of the animal knows they have the responsibility for cleaning up any mess that it's caused immediately."


Throughout the hour-long meeting, the two dogs and one cat inside the council chamber were on their best behaviour, including Suzy.

Councillor Casey said Suzy would be very well suited to sitting on a bus, asking her where she'd like to go.

It's now up to Auckland Transport, who is reviewing its policies around carrying pets on public transport.

Under its current rules, no animals are allowed on the city's buses and trains but dogs and small animals in cages were allowed on most ferry services.