Media Coverage

Off-leash dogs a big problem

Letitia Reddington has had enough of the dog droppings left on her property.

She has seen dogs “challenging” small children and had to put down the family cat after it was attacked at the secluded Chelsea Bay Reserve, which borders her house.

The 24-hour off-leash rule in place since 2004 needs to be revoked before a real tragedy happens, she says.

“We just want the beach turned back to what it was.”

Mrs Reddington says she is not anti-dog – they should just be on a leash while at the Birkenhead park for safety reasons.

The 10-year-old bylaw passed by the former North Shore City Council is under review, as are all dog access rules at Kaipatiki beaches.

Mrs Reddington and her husband Pat have lived on the border of the reserve since 1984 but she says they were never asked about the dog rule change.

Kaipatiki Local Board initiated the review of all access beaches in its area and any proposed changes will be publicly notified mid-2014, an Auckland Council spokesperson says.

The board may consider other off-leash areas as part of this review.

Decision-making on the review is guided by the council’s 2012 policy on dogs, the spokesperson says.

“The council has received two complaints in the last year about this reserve, with people being concerned about dogs running loose in an uncontrolled manner.”

If owners do not clean up after their dogs the public must contact council with identification, such as car registration, the spokesperson says.

“Most often council officers are not present when an offence occurs so we rely heavily on the public to provide the evidence needed to follow up.”


Written by: Jess Etheridge
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times – 21 February 2014

2 replies on “Off-leash dogs a big problem”

Glad to hear that Ann Brabant has enjoyed 15 years of walking her dog in Chelsea Bay without an incident. I wish I’d been so lucky. Since I became a Bay resident five years ago I’ve had a number of occasions of being hassled by dogs off-leash, most of these times without the owners doing anything. Dogs have run up from the beach through my vegetable garden and on a number of occasions invaded my home. The latest was a month ago when one raced through the kitchen door, into the living room and over the furniture before being subdued by having a blanket thrown over it. The owner never helped. And the fouling has certainly increased. It is not correct to say that Mrs Reddington is the only person to complain about off leash dogs in Chelsea Bay. I have spoken to the Council and there have been letters to the North Shore Times.

This woman Reddington is the only person to complain about off leash dogs in Chelsea Bay. I have walked my dog there for 15 years and never seen an incident. Mrs Stainton did a survey of the locals re their opinion on dogs in the bay and got 95% support for off leash.. A dog would not be able to get up to Mrs Reddington’sd house as the bank is steep and covered in vegetation. The dogs she mentions probably came from the road behind her house..
The proposed dog rules now state that Chelsea Bay can be off leash all day. However the proposed laws want to leash dogs during the daytime in summer for Chelsea Heritage Park. This would be a mistake as that would mean Chelsea Bay and Soldiers Bay as off leash areas will become inundated with dogs during the day. This is not a wise choice. Big dogs need off leash areas to run and play to burn off energy. Birkenhead has a high dog population. Please support appropriate off leash areas for dogs to take the pressure off bush and park areas.

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