Standardising the summer hours dogs are banned on beaches across Auckland has been supported by Auckland Council.
The council today agreed to support a change to ban dogs from restricted areas like many beaches and parks from 10am to 7pm between the Saturday of Labour Weekend and March 31.
The plan will now go out for public consultation before the council will make a decision on whether to formally adopt the changes.
The hours currently differ between local boards areas across Auckland.
The council's previous policy suggested dogs not be allowed in restricted areas between 10am and 5pm from the Saturday of Labour Weekend to March 1 but most local boards had decided on variations of that.
Local boards would still have authority to decide in what locations a time and season rule applies, the type of dog access (on leash, off leash or designated dog exercise area) and what the winter time access rules would be.
Concerns which had been raised included whether 7pm was too late in the evening, whether there was a need for a regionally consistent time and season definition and whether there were different needs in different communities.
Have your say events will be held around the city and all registered dog owners will be alerted to the proposed changes.
The submission period will run for six weeks from April 1.
Council to call for Government to ban public sale of fireworks
Auckland Council has agreed to call on the government to ban the sale of fireworks to the general public and end their private use.
Only two councillors voted against the decision.
Mayor Phil Goff said he did not make the decision to support it lightly but there had been a shift in the public mood toward the private use of fireworks as displayed by the huge number of submissions.
"I have pretty fond memories of fireworks growing up," he said.
"I think what has been really decisive since we last considered this a year ago is we've gone out and asked the people off Auckland what they think.
"I think that gave our council the mandate to take this to the Government," he said.
He did not believe a ban on private sales would put an end to fireworks but expected public displays would continue.
The council agreed to delegate the responsibility to take the matter to Government ministers and parliamentarians to councillors Cathy Casey and Fa'anana Efeso Collins.
The council met today to consider the thousands of public submissions received on the topic.
Of the 7997 people who submitted on whether the council should call on the Government to ban fireworks, 89 per cent were in favour of it.
Before the vote, Casey made an impassioned plea for unanimity among the councillor on the issue.
"There's a mood for change. People do want to see the Government step in and ban the private sale and use of fireworks," she said.
"The people of Auckland have spoken. It's time to ban the private use and sale of fireworks."
She said the aim was to reduce harm to people and animals in what was a "growing city" and questioned why we continued to commemorate a "ridiculous event".
She did want to ensure people could continue to enjoy free public displays at events like Matariki, Diwali and on New Year's Eve.
"We're the council. We can do that."
But councillor Linda Cooper, who voted in favour of calling for a ban, warned that local suppliers had said there was a risk that without public sales, importing fireworks for public displays would not be commercially viable.
Councillor Mike Lee voted against the decision for the council to request the Government ban private sales and use.
He acknowledged the council was well intentioned and wanted to keep people and animals safe but spoke about the impact it would have on other cultural groups in New Zealand whose traditions involved the use of fireworks.
Lee said he had spoken to the owners of Wah Lee General Store, which had been an institution in Auckland for many years, and was told that without the sale of fireworks it was likely the business would go under because it could no longer compete with the large Chinese supermarkets.
"Banning things out right, I do not think is the answer," he said.
The SPCA, Fire and Emergency NZ, NZ Veterinarians Association and SAFE all spoke in favour of the ban.
The biggest concerns raised in the submissions were the safety of people and animals, followed by noise.
Earlier this week, councillor Cathy Casey said the feedback showed Aucklanders wanted a city that was safe for families and pets.
"Year-round, fireworks cause unnecessary distress and injury to people, animals, birds and livestock and misuse of fireworks puts huge pressure on emergency services through unnecessary fires, property damage and injuries."
A ban would significantly reduce the number of bylaw complaints of fireworks being lit on private property and relieve pressure on council resources, she said.
Collins said the council needed to encourage more free public firework events.
"Public displays means the spectacle of fireworks can be enjoyed by everyone while families and pets are kept safe."