Andrew Cooke and his three Siberian huskies would like to see a dedicated dog park in Nelson. Photo: Kate Russell.

Dog park plan needs public’s input

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Nelson City Council is investigating the feasibility of a dedicated dog park and wants dog owners and non-dog owners to give them their thoughts through an online survey.

Group manager community services Roger Ball says a dog park is included in council’s 2018-28 Long- Term Plan with investigation and design timed for 2019/20 and construction in 2020/21.

The online survey is part of the preliminary engagement and will be used to develop a possible business case.

Nelson dog owner Andrew Cooke, who raised the idea of a dog park through an article in the Nelson Weekly early last year, says he’s thrilled to see the survey and has even volunteered to look after it if it goes ahead.

“Hopefully will get some good feedback,” he says.

But local canine behaviourist Marianne Castle says a dog park in Nelson would only be successful if it was “huge” and worries the city doesn’t have the space.

“Small dog parks encourage dog fights, dog bullies and human bullies,” she says. “People tend to stand around talking or on their phones and not pay attention to their own dog or the dogs around them. Out of dog parks, people and dogs walk. Movement can defuse an explosive situation. Education and effort are the name of the game.”

Roger says council included a dog park in the Long- Term Plan because they have received a number of submissions on the idea.

He says suitable locations could be investigated in the 2019/20 financial year.

To take the survey, go to nelson.govt.nz/dog-park-survey by June 14.