New animal shelter to open mid-year

Published on 17 March 2021

Northern animal shelter construction - aerial 1 March.jpg

A new $1.5 million northern area animal shelter being built near Kaitaia is due for completion by June and will be open by July.

The purpose-built facility at Bonnetts Road will cater for up to 12 dogs and provide separate quarantining facilities for puppies and adult dogs, exercise areas, and veterinary and storage facilities.

Its completion will mean that the existing northern area animal shelter, also located at Bonnetts Road, can be decommissioned, as will a temporary animal shelter now operating near Horeke. Dogs housed at the Horeke facility will be transferred to the new Bonnetts Road shelter.

Meanwhile, work to convert a commercial dog boarding kennel near Kaikohe into a purpose-built animal shelter will now begin in mid-July and take about six months to complete.

The project to repurpose Melka Kennels on Ngapuhi Road into the district’s southern area animal shelter was originally set to begin in early 2020. However, the project was delayed, firstly by the COVID-19 lockdown and then by a budget shortfall. Initial estimates based on a visual inspection of Melka Kennels indicated that $200,000 would be required to upgrade the facility. A thorough investigation later put that figure closer to $600,000 to meet improved security, health and safety, and animal welfare needs.

In July 2020, the Council was awarded $1 million for two animal shelter projects through a successful funding bid to the Provincial Development Unit following Government calls for post-lockdown, shovel-ready projects. The total budget for the new shelters now stands at $2.9 million – $1.5 million for a northern area shelter and $1.4 million to provide a new build at the Melka Kennels site.

Manager – Environmental Services, Rochelle Deane, says the 12-month delay on the southern animal shelter is unfortunate, but the extra funding has allowed the Council to considerably improve the design.

“We will now clear the site of all buildings to make way for the new shelter and will soon ask for tenders to remove and re-site the existing weatherboard home and some out buildings.

“With the site cleared and increased budget, we have greater ability to build an animal shelter that will more than meet the public’s animal welfare expectations, security, and staff health and safety requirements.”

As a result of the unexpected delays to the project, the Council has had to apply for a retrospective resource consent to continue occupying its temporary Rangiahua (Horeke) animal shelter. An independent commissioner was appointed to rule on whether the consent should be notified publicly or limited to those directly impacted. Last month, the commissioner opted to limit the consent notification to two directly affected parties. 

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Last updated 25 March 2021