New dog control policy and bylaw adopted

Share this page


New dog control policy and bylaw adopted

Marlborough District Council’s Environment Committee today adopted a new Dog Control Policy and Dog Control Bylaw 2021 for Marlborough. The bylaw becomes effective from 1 August 2021 once it is endorsed by the full Council on 24 June.

They key changes in the new policy and bylaw are:

  • Along the Taylor River Reserve dogs are allowed off-leash from the Taylor Dam to the Henry Street bridge on the Blenheim town side, and to the Alfred Street bridge on the true left bank (west side), and both sides of Riverside Park north of the Sinclair Street rail bridge.
  • Dogs are allowed on-leash in the Blenheim Central Business District.
  • In Pollard Park, Churchill Glade and Waterlea Gardens dogs are allowed on-leash but are prohibited from the Blenheim golf course and the Baden Powell corner grassed area, BBQ picnic areas and the children’s playground.
  • At Victoria Domain Reserves in Picton dogs need to be on-leash on roadways and the formed walking and shared walking and biking tracks, but are prohibited from the mountain bike tracks and are allowed off-leash on the lower Picton to Waikawa Track.
  • Dogs are allowed on-leash at the Wairau Valley Golf Course and Recreation Reserve.
  • Dogs are allowed off-leash on the Esson’s Valley and Tirohanga tracks, Picton.
  • Dogs are allowed on-leash in Nelson Square and off-leash at Waitohi Domain, Picton.
  • At Ward Beach dogs are allowed on-leash in the car park and on the beach, north of the boat launching area to Chancet Rocks and south of the boat launching area to Needles Point. Dogs are allowed off-leash at the Ward Beach boat launching area but are prohibited at Ward Beach north beyond Chancet Rocks to Marfells Beach and south beyond Needles Point to the district boundary with Kaikōura.

Environment Committee Chair Mayor John Leggett said a hearing panel, made up of Councillors Jamie Arbuckle (chair), Nadine Taylor, Barbara Faulls and Thelma Sowman had done a thorough job and had listened to the public’s concerns.

“Their recommendations seek to achieve a balance between the control of dogs and recognition of the community benefits of responsible dog ownership. The Hearings Panel has sought to provide opportunities for the exercise and recreational needs of dogs and their owners, whilst recognising the need to minimise danger, distress and nuisance to the community.”

“Council received 679 submissions on the proposed policy and bylaw including a petition opposing dogs being on-leash on the Taylor River Reserve.”

“The original proposal to require dogs to be on-leash from the Quays near Raupo café to the Burleigh Bridge received strong opposition and the most submissions,” he said.

“The hearing panel has heard the public’s view and acted on their wishes,” he said.

Hearing Panel Chair Jamie Arbuckle said the Marlborough community is passionate about dogs and dog access to public places.

He noted public submissions were evenly split on reintroducing dogs to Blenheim’s CBD.

“On balance we think that it’s time to bring dogs back on-leash into the town centre. In future there will be more people living in and around central Blenheim and it is closely connected to the Taylor River Reserve, Quays and Riverside Park, where people walk their dogs already. The Blenheim Business Association was in support as it will help generate retail activity in town.”

“We also know that the CBD trial two years ago went well and there were no reported issues. We need to do some education for business owners in particular – the new bylaw only applies to footpaths and public areas, so it is up to each business owner whether they wish to allow dogs on their premises or not.”

The new policy and bylaw will come into effect from 1 August 2021, allowing time for Animal Control’s busy dog registration period to finish, and also provide enough time for new signage to be installed.

For further information go to the Dog Control Policy and Bylaw Review page on this website

More information and online Smart Maps showing dog walking areas will become available over the next month.


The information in this media statement was correct at time of publication. Changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.