With the fine summer weather on our doorstep, the Department of Conservation (DOC) is asking visitors to refrain from taking pets when visiting Rotorua's Conservation Campsites.

There are six DOC administered campsites in Rotorua - two around Lake Rerewhakaaitu, three around Lake Tarawera and one at Lake Okareka.

"Around Rotorua, there have been some dog related issues and we want to ensure the public are safe at DOC campgrounds and that families feel comfortable to camp there," DOC services manager Jeff Milham said.

DOC is working collaboratively with campground managers and Rotorua Lakes Council's animal control department to provide consistent information relating to dog exercise areas. The council administer several campsites which allow dogs.

"Many of our camp managers are in favour of dog free campsites and legislatively, dogs aren't permitted in conservation areas. The Reserves Act, the Conservation Act and the Wildlife Act do not allow dogs at our campsites" Mr Milham said.

Whakarewarewa Charitable Trust, managers of Rotorua's Hot Water Beach, is one of many campground managers that support dog-free campsites.

Whakarewarewa Thermal Village Tours chief executive Blair Millar said he fully supported hot water beach as a dog-free campsite.

"It can be hard for families to have an enjoyable and relaxing stay when there are dogs around - especially if they foul in the area. We are also concerned about the impact dogs have on wildlife in the wider Rotorua area."

DOC has produced a factsheet titled 'Dogs in Rotorua's conservation areas' which is available from the DOC office.

- Email rotorua@doc.govt.nz for further information. Signage relating to dogs will be updated over a transitional period.

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