Anger after Auckland Council proposes slashing dog access to beaches

Dog owners in Auckland aren't happy with a council proposal to cut down the hours their pooches can be on city beaches.

Auckland Council says it wants to reduce conflict between dog owners and other beach users over summer. 

Claire Teirney's dog Rusty's favourite time on a summer's day is five o'clock, when he gets to run around at the beach. 

Teirney says it's the perfect time to go - before dinner - and not too hot.   

But the council's proposed bylaw change means dogs won't be allowed on the beach until after 7pm on summer evenings.   

"If you get everyone down here after 7 o'clock, even in the best months of summer, you've got a maximum an hour and a half before sunset. 

"So if you get all local dogs all there in an hour and a half, you're more likely to have issues around conflict," Teirney says.  

Conflict between dog owners and other people is one of the reasons the council is proposing change. The other is consistency.

There are currently 17 different summer sets of beach hours for dogs around Auckland.

On the Hibiscus Coast, where Rusty lives at northern Stanmore Bay, he's allowed after five in the evenings.

In Mangere Bridge, dogs are allowed after 4pm.   

And, at busy Mission Bay, the rule is already 7pm.   

While many dog owners agree a standard time makes sense, almost all say 7pm is too late.

Dog owner Joy Barbarich says she thinks she should move out of Auckland, to somewhere more "dog friendly".

Auckland Council says the proposed change is not a foregone conclusion.

It's urging Aucklanders to have their say before May 10.