Minutes of a meeting of the Environment Committee

Via Audio-Visual (Zoom)

On Tuesday 21 April 2020, commencing at 1.06p.m. - Hearing of Submissions to Dog Control Policy and Bylaw Review


Present:              Councillor K Fulton (Chairperson), Councillors B McGurk, Y Bowater, T Brand, M Courtney, M Lawrey, G Noonan, R O'Neill-Stevens, P Rainey, R Sanson, T Skinner and Ms G Paine

In Attendance:    Group Manager Environmental Management (C Barton), Team Leader Governance (R Byrne) and Governance Adviser (E Stephenson)

Apologies:           Her Worship the Mayor R Reese and Councillor J Edgar


Karakia Timatanga

Council’s Kaihautu, Pania Lee, gave the opening karakia.



1.       Apologies

Resolved EC/2020/011


That the Environment Committee

1.        Receives and accepts the apologies from Her Worship the Mayor Rachel Reese and from Councillor Judene Edgar.

McGurk/Fulton                                                                              Carried


2.       Confirmation of Order of Business

There was no change to the order of business.

3.       Interests

Her Worship the Mayor had declared an interest in this matter and was not present.

4.       Public Forum 

There was no public forum.     

5        Late Submission

Submissions closed on 28 February 2020.  One submission was received late (refer page 64-65 of the Agenda). The submission was received prior to the planned hearing and in time for full consideration by the Committee and officers. 

Resolved EC/2020/012


That the Environment Committee

1.    Accepts the late submission from Denis Blomquist received on 12 March 2020.  


Fulton/McGurk                                                                              Carried


6        Hearing of Submissions – Review of Dog Control Policy and Bylaw

Document number R15910, agenda pages 5 - 87 refer.


6.1      Hans Andersen speaking on behalf of Dinah Thomson – 21647


Mr Anderson spoke to Ms Thomson’s submission, he noted her concerns regarding the proposal for restricting dog access where stock grazed and the limitations on dogs. He noted the amount of exercise required by dogs, the need for off leash exercise.

           Attendance: Councillor Rainey entered the meeting at 1.20pm


Mr Anderson answered questions regarding signage and reliance on dog owners’ control.


6.2      Bryce Buckland – 21628


Mr Buckland spoke to his submission, noting that he was not unhappy to have dogs on the Grampians but wanted them better managed. He highlighted the need for better reserve management, reducing flammable weeds and grass and better dog control, with all dogs required to be on a lead. Mr Buckland answered questions regarding the number of birds and sheep he had seen killed or injured by dogs and the 80/20 trapping rule was explained.





6.3      Jude Tarr – 21600


Ms Tarr spoke to her submission, she clarified natural dog behaviour. She suggested different reserve management via intensive bursts of stock grazing, or with tractors that mow and, in the long-term, replacement with native plants which wouldn’t require stock grazing.


Ms Tarr pointed out that Map 5 was shown as an existing on-lead park, she suspected that nobody knew this, as there was no visible signage. She requested a doggy doo bag dispenser and supported the retention of off-lead dog exercise areas. She answered a question regarding off-lead areas, noting that clear signage was needed when sheep were present and suggested stock grazing for short periods in the short-term.


6.4      Mindy Silva – 21598


Ms Silva spoke to her submission, suggesting that those with good dog owner status should decide when it was safe to let their dogs off the lead. She said that Council shouldn’t punish law-abiding citizens, but should address the people causing the problems. In response to questions, Ms Silva said that her dogs did not chase wildlife or birds and that she was happy to put her dogs on the lead when sheep were present. She felt Council should allow different licences depending on owners’ capabilities and that people should look out for signage.


6.5      Natalie Gousmett -  21548


Ms Gousmett spoke to her submission, noting the importance of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors as a family and she was opposed to reducing off-lead areas. She felt that Council should be adding off-lead opportunities.  She noted that on-lead exercise was cumbersome for those with young children and felt that Council was punishing many because of the few. Ms Gousmett felt that on-lead should be required only when stock was present and grazing. She suggested that Council should offer additional reserve areas where families could swim with their dogs. Ms Gousmett was supportive of Railway Reserve and Isel Park remaining off-lead areas. She noted support for proposals 1,2 and 4 but not 3 and 10.


In response to questions, Ms Gousmett said that she would like a

larger dog area at the beach, with access to picnic tables and toilets whilst walking dogs and that there needed to be clear rules.

Attendance: Councillor Noonan left the meeting from 2.07p.m. until 2.14p.m.


6.6      Claire Bywater – 21594


Ms Bywater spoke to her submission, requesting that Council allow dogs to travel on public transport. She noted that this was allowed in Europe and in Wellington and Auckland and she hoped Nelson would be the first Council in the South Island to consider this.


Officers confirmed that this suggestion could be considered as part of the appropriate bylaw review.


6.7      Denis Blomquist – 22831L


Mr Blomquist spoke to his submission, highlighting the need to protect and encourage nesting birds by keeping dogs (and people) off the beach at nesting time. Discussion took place on boundaries and officers were requested to confirm this for deliberations. It was clarified that fencing off areas for the protection of nesting birds was out of scope for this bylaw review.


6.8      Julie Malthus – 21432


Ms Malthus spoke to her submission, noting that she had protested against the removal of off-leash dog areas in 2012.  She felt that less freedom would make Nelson unattractive to professional families. She read a submission on behalf of her dogs, which was supportive of more off-leash areas. In response to a question, she said that owners would know if their dog was sheep friendly or not and would either put their dogs on a lead, or not enter the area.


6.9      John Gray – 21550


Mr Gray spoke to his submission, noting that dog fees should include something else for the money. He felt that fees were too high, especially for good dog-owners. He felt there should be a good dog-owner bonus, and a reduction in fees to encourage people to own dogs. Mr Gray answered a question regarding pensioner age, noting that after the COVID-19 emergency there would be a reduction in income for a lot of people.


6.10    David Melville – The Ornithological Society of NZ/Birds NZ – 22731


Mr Melville spoke to the submission and provided a PowerPoint presentation highlighting Nelson coastal biodiversity and threatened, nationally critical and vulnerable, at-risk and declining and recovering species. He suggested an extension of the dog prohibition period for the southern part of Boulder Bank from 15 August to February, due to the early breeding period of the Banded Dotterel.


Mr Melville answered questions regarding nesting sites and numbers.


Ms Barton agreed to confirm whether review of the dog prohibition period would be an issue as it had not been consulted on, for the deliberations.


6.11    Ian Barker – 21662


Mr Barker spoke to his submission, noting that the existing situation at Isel Park was operating very well and that the market ran well under that process. He suggested improved signage at the front gate, noting that doggy doo bags would be useful and felt that Council should toughen up on dangerous dogs.



Brief statements supporting several submissions were tabled. A PowerPoint Presentation was provided by David Melville – The Ornithological Society of NZ/Birds NZ.





1    A2371943 - Adrian Abraham - 22738

2    A2371733 - Helen Black - 21694

3    A2370963 - Erice Jackson - 21697

4    A2371714 - Hilary Burbidge and Ross Whitlock - 21689

5    A2372966 - Ferry van Mansum - 21483

6    A2362473 - PowerPoint Presentation - David Melville - 22731



7.       Timing of Dog Control Policy and Bylaw Deliberations

Document number R16959, agenda pages 88 - 101 refer.

Resolved EC/2020/013


That the Environment Committee

1.    Receives the report Timing of Dog Control Policy and Bylaw Deliberations (R16959) and its attachment (A2337794); and

2.    Commences the Dog Control Policy and Bylaw Deliberations on 19 May 2020 in order to make a decision on the Good Dog Owner Policy; and

3.    Reconvenes the Dog Control Policy and Bylaw Deliberations on 4 June 2020 to make decisions on all other aspects of the Dog Control Policy, and to make recommendations to Council on all aspects of the Dog Control Bylaw.

Noonan/Bowater                                                                           Carried



Karakia Whakmutunga

Council’s Kaihautu, Pania Lee, gave the closing karakia


There being no further business the meeting ended at 3.13p.m.


Confirmed as a correct record of proceedings:




                                                       Chairperson                                     Date