Rotorua MP Todd McClay says he'll work with councils to try to better control dogs as there have been "far too many" serious dog attacks in the region.

Japanese 7-year-old Sakurako Uehara remained under sedation in a critical but stable condition in intensive care at Middlemore Hospital following Monday's attack by four Staffordshire bull terriers in Murupara.

Her parents and a lead plastic surgeon are to hold a media conference in Auckland tomorrow to discuss the reconstructive journey she will face in the days, weeks and years ahead. Meanwhile, a fundraising appeal has been launched to support her family.

Sakurako's family were in the process of gaining permanent residency and had bought property in Murupara.


ACC said she will receive cover for her medical costs, after the hospital initially said Sakurako did not qualify for state-funded care.

Mr McClay said he was horrified by the attack on Sakurako.

"I want to applaud the Murupara community for rallying to support her family and have been talking with Local Community Board chairman Jacob Te Kurapa to see how the government can help them further.

"Whilst Parliament has banned the importation of a number of dangerous and aggressive dog breeds as well as given tools to councils to create local rules to control dogs, there are still far too many serious dog attacks in the Bay of Plenty."

Mr McClay said responsibility lay in part with dog owners.

"However, I'm keen to work with the four councils in my electorate to see what more can effectively be done to help control this serious problem.

"Sadly bans won't always work as few of these dogs are pure enough to identify as one specific breed or another. In many cases it seems clear that some irresponsible owners are purposely breeding dogs for their aggressive traits and this is of particular concern."

Local Government Minister Paula Bennett said she was considering whether dog control regulations needed to improve.


Police are investigating the attack.

Donations can be made via or cheques can be sent to Middlemore Foundation for Health Innovation, Private Bag 93320, Otahuhu, Auckland 1640.

Payments can also be made into the Foundation's bank account: ASB Hunters Plaza, 12-3113-0002022-00 using the reference "Japan".