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Rules for thee … but not for me

A South Wairarapa resident has accused Mayor Martin Connelly of hypocrisy over his support of a new dog control bylaw.

South Wairarapa District Council’s [SWDC] existing dog control bylaw has been in place since 2013 but the council has recently consulted with the public about updating the law.

Both the 2013 and new bylaws state that dogs must always be on a lead in public places, except for designated dog exercise areas.

Owners who repeatedly break the rules can be made to complete a “dog owner education programme” or even banned from owning a dog.

But one submitter has noted the mayor has not been following the rules himself.

“He walks his dog off leash around Greytown, even going so far as to point out to me that it was lucky his dog wasn’t on a leash, as if it were, our dogs would be tangled up,” the submitter said.

South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] will vote on adopting the new dog bylaw at its council meeting next Wednesday.

The Times-Age asked Connelly if he supported the part of the new bylaw that prohibits leadless dog walking, given he has not followed that rule himself.

“Yes, I have been known to walk my dog off lead to a neighbouring section where he can freely run around,” he replied.

“I support the old and the new bylaw, and I doubt there will be much debate.”

The Times-Age also asked Connelly if he would continue to walk his dog without a lead once the new bylaw passed.

He declined to comment.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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