Western Bay dogs will soon have designated dog parks to play in. Photo / Sun Media
The Ōmokoroa and Katikati communities will soon have their say on dog exercise parks in their town.
The proposed park locations are the Links View Drive Reserve in Ōmokoroa and Donegal Drive Reserve in Katikati.
Councillors voted to progress to community consultation and confirmed the proposed locations at a Western Bay of Plenty District Council Strategy and Policy Committee on Tuesday.
The parks would be up to 5000sq m, fully fenced, have drinking water available, rubbish bins, dog poo bags dispensers and seating.
Development of the parks will take place this year and next.
Proximity to walking and cycling networks, nearby car parking and areas with limited neighbours were considered as part of the site assessment process, according to the report to council.
In 2020, the council adopted a level of service for the provision of dog exercise parks in the district, agreeing to develop one in Te Puke, Ōmokoroa, Katikati and Waihī Beach.
Construction of the Te Puke dog park will begin this year at the Lawrence Oliver Park, but will be done in stages because of increased costs.
A $30,000 budget has been allocated for each park but this could be increased through the council’s next long-term plan process.
The parks would be funded from a mix of 80 per cent dog registration fees and 20 per cent rates.
Councillor Grant Dally was in support but concerned with the budget.
”The size of these dog parks being around the 5000sq m mark means that the fencing cost is far in excess of the $30,000 allocated,” he said.
”Being the first cab off the rank in Te Puke, we realise that this [increased cost] has delayed the development of our dog park.
”If retrospective funding increases are put into these projects then it would be nice to have some consideration for Te Puke’s park if it’s not progressed by other means.”
Kaimai ward councillor Margaret Murray-Benge was in full support of the parks.
”With the development at Ōmokoroa where you can just about touch each other’s walls and people like to have animals, in fact they perform a very social function for people I think this makes very good sense,” she said.
”For the people of Ōmokoroa I think they will welcome this … here’s hoping we can do it reasonably quickly.”
Mayor James Denyer said: “It’s good to see it [the dog parks] moving ahead and I look forward to hearing the views of local residents.”
Community engagement will include meeting with mana whenua and the community boards, as well as sending letters to the adjacent land owners, affected parties and community groups that use the sites.
The council will also hold community engagement sessions in Ōmokoroa and Katikati.
The dog park consultation will take place from mid-May to mid-June as part of the council’s long-term plan consultation.
– Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air