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Dog OwnersTe hunga nāna te kurī

Dog Owners need to consider a few things when having a dog. Below you can find information about dog owners responsibilities.

Selected Dog Owners

If you are a responsible dog owner then Council wants to reward YOU!

As a way to encourage our community to take good care of their dogs and be responsible owners, Council has created a Selected Dog Owner Policy.

This policy will reward RESPONSIBLE dog owners, who are complying with Council’s Dog Control Policy and Dog Control Bylaw, with a discounted registration fee set in Council’s fees and charges.

To become a “Selected Owner”, Council has several requirements that you must meet. These include:

  • your dog being microchipped
  • ensuring your dog registration is always paid before August 31 of each year
  • history proving good dog ownership
  • no record of impounding or infringements
  • if you have more than two dogs on the property you must have a permit

Owners with dogs registered as Class S (standard) can apply for this class (SP) if they meet the requirements.

There is a $30.00 processing/inspection fee, all applications need to be received by May 1st of this year.

If the application is granted, you retain the SP class every year automatically (unless conditions of the policy are breached).  

Apply to be a selected dog owner

Dog Registration

Registration fees are used to maintain a safe and healthy environment for residents, dog owners and their pets. The Council does not profit from dog fees.

Fees pay for:

Dog control and law enforcement campaigns and education in schools, community groups and businesses signage for exercise areas and canine promotional materials administering the dog pound Kaimoana Road administering the dog register, application forms and tag distribution

You must register your dogs by August 31 every year. All dogs must be registered by three months of age. Owners of unregistered dogs face fines up to $3,000 (or an infringement fee of $300) in addition to the registration fee. Registrations can be applied for and are payable at Wairoa District Council.

The current fees are:

Note - The discounted registration fees have been extended until 31 August 2023, this is due to the delay in registrations being sent out, this change is already reflected on the registration documents which were emailed/posted. 

  • Class S - Being all other dogs (Before 31 August 2023) $110.00 
  • Class S - Being all other dogs (After 1 September 2023) $140.00
  • Class SOP - Selected Owner Policy (Before 31 August 2023) $90.00
  • Class SOP - Selected Owner Policy (After 1 September 2023) $140.00
  • Class W - Working Dogs (Before 31 August 2023) $65.00
  • Class W - Working Dogs (After 1 September 2023) $95.00
  • Class D - Dogs classified Dangerous (Before 31 August 2023) $275.00
  • Class D - Dogs classified Dangerous (After 1 September 2023) $350.00

  • Class M - Dogs classified Menacing (Before 31 August 2023) $215.00
  • Class M - Dogs classified Menacing (After 1 September 2023) $245.00

We encourage you to register your dog using the form below. Submit via e-mail, drop the form off at the Council offices on Queen Street or post to:

Wairoa District Council
Attention: Compliance Team 
PO Box 54
Wairoa 4160

Please call us on (06) 838 7309 if you need help filling out a form.

Register your Dog

Pay Dog Registration

Payment Plan


If your dog dies and you have paid for current registration, you can make a written request for a refund. The Council will give you whatever remaining portion of the yearly rate remains after notification. You must also return the tag and/or provide proof from your vet.

Three or more dogs on your property?

Under Section 4 of the Dog Control Bylaw in an urban situation you cannot keep more than two (2) dogs over the age of three months unless you obtain a permit from the Council (with the exception of dogs registered as Working Dogs or Disability Assist Dogs).

To apply for a permit to keep three or more dogs on your property please click on the button below. 

Apply for a permit


All new puppies need to be microchipped within two months of when they are registered.

Farm dogs used mainly for herding and driving stock are exempt from microchipping.

You will also need to microchip your dog if:

  • you are registering your dog in New Zealand for the first time (this mainly applies to puppies)
  • your dog is classified as dangerous
  • your dog is classified as menacing
  • your unregistered dog is impounded for the first time from 1 July 2006
  • your registered dog has been impounded for the second time from 1 July 2006.

Microchipping has been introduced by Parliament to make it easier to track down dogs that get lost and to identify dangerous dogs.

Microchipping services are provided by vets.

Failure to microchip your dog if it falls into one of the microchipping categories could result in prosecution and a $3,000 fine.

Impounded Dogs

Once an impounded dog has been held for 7 days and not claimed by its owner, it then becomes the property of the Wairoa District Council.

Note: Proof of ownership is required and payment made before release of any dog.

Change of Ownership

On change of ownership, both the previous and new owner must give 14 days notice in writing to Wairoa District Council. The new owner must also complete a registration form.

Change Ownership Details

Change of Address

If you move to another Council district, you have 14 days to notify both authorities of your new address.

Carry a Leash

Even when exercising your dog in an off leash area or Dog Exercise Area you are required to carry a leash with you.

Find out where you can exercise your dog off leash

On/Off Leash Areas

Dog Tags

Every dog must wear the registration tag provided at registration time. Replacement tags are provided at a cost; proof of registration must be provided.

Control of Dog on Dog Owner's Property

An important change was made to the Dog Control Act in 2003. Dog owners are required to keep their dogs under adequate control on their own property.

The dog owner must ensure that either;

  • the dog is under the direct control of a person or
  • the dog is confined in a manner so that the dog cannot freely leave the property.

Being under direct control means being with the dog. It does not mean being inside or in the back yard when the dog is in the unfenced front yard. Confined normally means behind an adequate fence or in a run or cage. Animal Control Officers may now enter private property and seize and impound dogs that are freely able to leave their property

In addition, dog owners are liable for a $300 infringement fine.

De-sexing your dog - A humane responsibility

De-sexing your dog will help reduce your dog's urge to roam around the neighbourhood and will prevent the possibility of unwanted litters.

Like to Know More About Dogs?

Officers from the Wairoa District Council Animal Control Team are available for group presentations.

Topics include:

  • Safety around dogs.
  • Care and responsibility for your dog.
  • Territorial aggression.
  • The Dog Control Act and Council's Bylaws and Policy.

Our Education Officer is also available to go out to Schools to present an in depth course aimed at children, in line with material supplied by the Department of Internal Affairs and other relevant visual presentations and hand-outs that have been made available to us.


To find out more about animal control, please contact the Compliance Team at the Wairoa District Council.

+64 6 838 7309


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