On the Coromandel we are lucky to be able to take our best canine buddies almost anywhere, whether it's down to the beach or for a stroll into town for a bite to eat. What you might not realise is that you need to have your dog on lead in most areas unless specified. We have noticed an increase in both formal and informal complaints around dog issues in our district. Our bylaws team will be spending more time stopping and talking to dog owners about our local rules especially if dogs aren't on-lead where they should be. They will have information to share on our dog control bylaw and a free dog lead for you to take home. This is to make sure everyone can enjoy our public spaces and there's a safe environment for dog and non-dog people. We are running the 'Lead the way' campaign over spring so our local communities can help us set the scene for when visitors come over the busy summer period. The idea is if locals follow the rules and have their dog on a lead in public, then visitors will follow that lead. Dog Control Policy and Dog Control Bylaw We heard from the community and made changes to our dog control rules for the district that took effect from 1 August 2016. This came after a long review and led to our updated Dog Control Policyand Dog Control Bylaw. We have worked hard to make sure we have local rules that are clear and easy to understand for both our residents and visitors. This means having some consistency across the district, such as the dates and times dogs are allowed on some beaches over summer and public holidays. The policy and bylaw strikes a balance between different community needs and preferences. We have requirements under the Dog Control Act 1996 both about community health and safety, and providing exercise and recreational opportunities for dogs and their owners. We've also considered the need to protect wildlife such as NZ dotterel and kiwi. You can read the Dog Control Policy and Dog Control Bylaw here. Summaries of the rules by area We have produced summaries of the area rules for each Community Board area, to help you understand the rules which came into effect on 1 August 2016. Check the Dog Control Bylaw for all the rules. Coromandel-Colville Community Board area - Big Sandy Bay, Carey Road, Hannafords Bay, Herds Bay, Little Bay, Little Sandy Bay, Long Bay, Oamaru Bay, Otautu Bay, Patukirikiri Reserve, Port Jackson, Tucks Bay, Waikawau Bay (east coast), Wyuna Bay Mercury Bay Community Board area - Brophys/Ohuka Beach, Buffalo Beach, Cooks Beach, Hahei Beach, Hot Water Beach, Kuaotunu, Rings Beach, Matarangi, Opito Bay, Otama Beach, Wainuiototo/New Chums Beach, Whangapoua Beach, Wharekaho Tairua-Pauanui Community Board area - Pauanui Ocean Beach, Tairua Harbour Estuary, Tairua Ocean Beach, Otara Bay, Boat Harbour Beach Thames Community Board area - Burke Street Beach, Burke Street Reserve, Kuranui Bay, Little Waikawau (west coast), Ngarimu Bay, Ruamahunga Bay, Tapu, Tararu, Te Mata, Te Puru, Thornton Bay, Waiomu Bay, Whakatete Bay Whangamata Community Board area - Onemana Beach, Opoutere Beach, Heatherington Road Reserve, Park Avenue Reserve, Patiki Bay Reserve, Whangamata Beach, Otahu Estuary For information on dog access to conservation land check www.doc.govt.nz. In 2016 we put up new signs across the district, including signs with maps in popular areas. You can see the signs at Pauanui, Whangamata, and Whitianga or you can view them below. Click on the maps for larger versions showing restricted, prohibited and exercises areas. A responsible dog owner: Picks up their dog's poo. Please carry bags with you or use one of our dog poo bag dispensers across the district. Carries a lead at all times and has their dog under control when off-lead. Unless you are in a designated dog exercise area, you must have your dog on a lead. Ensures their dog is registered and wears a registration tag at all times. If your dog is registered in another district, an ID with your name, address and mobile phone number will help if your dog gets lost or picked up by a Dog Control Officer. Makes sure their dog has access to shade, fresh drinking water and never leaves their dog in a hot car. Remembers the five-second rule: Whenever you take your dog outside, place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can't hold it there for five seconds, it's too hot to walk your dog. Makes sure their property has somewhere to keep their pet safe, secure and under control (and in the shade) where they will not be a nuisance to neighbours.