Dog owners with hopes of a fenced dog park for Christmas will have to wait until next year, as development has stalled on the proposed dog park at Innes Common.
The city council admits it failed in providing strong public consultation, and says it will revisit the issue in the new year.
Innes Common behind the Yacht Club was announced in June as the preferred location for a dog park. This drew complaints from local residents who were unaware of the plan until a week before the project was due to start.
New mayor Paula Southgate said the topic was pushed through the previous council late at night with little conversation over plans and consultation.
"We did drop the ball, and staff had been excellent in taking this issue on the chin and apologising for not talking to the local residents," Ms Southgate said.
As part of council's 2018 10-year plan, a fenced dog park was included, and on March 14 an online survey was opened to decide the location of the dog park, with the options being Tauhara Park, Innes Common behind the Yacht Club, and Resthills Park in Glenview.
However, the following day the Christchurch terror attack took place, and the dog park consultation could have been overshadowed.
After Innes Common was shown as the preferred option via the survey, on June 5, residents in the area received a letter that construction would begin in a matter of days, however many were uninformed that a dog park was even being considered.
A community meeting resulted in a petition of 671 signatures against the dog park. Since then nothing further was done.
The first meeting of the new council voted to provide more community engagement to construct the fenced dog exercise area. Innes Common residents spoke to councillors at the meeting, saying they were not against dogs, but at the idea of a fenced dog park in the area.
They were concerned about the location behind the yacht club, saying it was often used for overflow parking at events such as Balloons over Waikato, and a popular place for family picnics.
"Where small and large dogs have freely been able to access this non-fenced grassed area on Innes Common, it is lovely to see dog owners and their dogs enjoying the wellbeing benefits of this unfenced common park area located at Innes Common," the petition said.
Councillors said the ball had been dropped and more evidence was required before a decision was made.
Councillor Angela O'Leary, who was the councillor who fought to include the dog park within the 2018 10-year plan, said before she retires from the chamber there would be a destination dog park in Hamilton.
At the same meeting, the council also deferred the decision on the redevelopment of the Rhododendron Lawn at Hamilton Gardens.