At their business meeting held on 5 December 2019 the Orakei Local Board voted to adopt the Waiatarua Reserve Enhancement Plan. This plan includes a change that will directly affect the main user group of the Reserve (dog walkers) and includes a proposal for an additional ON-LEASH area in the Reserve.
12 (c) request Parks and Places add an item to its 2020/2021 work programme to undertake a bylaw review of dog exercise areas in Waiatarua Reserve, in line with the Waiatarua Enhancement Plan.
(see proposed area in image of top section of reserve below).
The Waiatarua Reserve Enhancement Plan now includes an area that could potentially see dogs leashed - including a segment of the main perimeter walking track.
Frequent users of the park - Waiatarua Dog Walkers (587 members) presented evidence to the Board at this business meeting showing strong opposition to the inclusion of this proposal in the Reserve Plan. The Waiatarua Reserve Protection group who have been working in the Reserve for decades were also strongly opposed, and wanted this area removed from the Plan. Nonetheless - the Orakei Local Board disregarded the main user groups and included this provision together with a request to Parks & Places greenlighting the process. No reasons were given for this decision at the business meeting and no reasons have been given despite a subsequent email request to the Board to provide them.
For those unaware of the reserve and its current use, there is currently a well established play ground complete with facilities and parking at the South West end of the reserve. This group supports the enhancement of this play ground area which is already ON LEASH, and believes the Board should be focusing on water quality monitoring and enhancement of the wetlands rather than wasting time and money on by-law changes that are not wanted by the main users of the Reserve (see image of stagnant stream).
If you are a dog fan and support retaining the current off-leash areas in the reserve so our pooches can continue to have a safe and secure space to exercise then please help us get heard by signing the petition. www.change.org...
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