The long campaign to get unique dog access on beaches rules for Waiheke is in danger of falling at the final hurdle if the Waiheke Local Board doesn’t reverse its decision to take no action.
Region-wide rules that would have meant draconian restrictions for dog access on beaches were strongly opposed by a group on Waiheke led by local resident Barbara Wilkinson. She organised a petition signed by 600 Waiheke residents to get the Governing Body to allow exemption for Waiheke. With backing from the previous Board, together they changed the mind of the Governing Body, no mean feat, and won.
All that remains is for the new Board is to allow Council officers to complete the process and Waiheke would then have its own unique time and access rules for dogs on beaches by next summer.
But this new Board don’t want to know. At their December meeting they voted instead to delay the process but tasked BM (Board Member) Treadwell with contacting the Council for further information.
At the January business meeting of the board Barbara Wilkinson made the following plea and again the Board took no action.
On behalf of Waiheke dog owners I ask that the Board do not delay but instead request Council staff to continue with the process to go out for public notification on the summer beach time and season rule for dogs on Waiheke. This will enable the appropriate steps to be followed by the Council cut off time of mid year in order for the new rule to be in place for summer 2014/2015.
No wonder Wilkinson and dog owners are outraged. The contempt shown by this Board to 600 resident dog owners may well come back to bite them.