Tag Archives: dog registration

Metal dog tags reduce plastic waste

A Wellington dog donning a new, longer lasting metal dog tag. Photo credit: Wellington City Council

Each year in New Zealand, there is an annual renewal process for our dog’s registrations, which is the responsibility of the local town or city council. Typically, this consists of a round disc with the dog’s registration number on it, the registration number changes each year as the new plastic tag is issued on renewal.

But in an effort to reduce plastic waste, a number of councils including Christchurch and Wellington have announced that dogs will be issued with a more durable metal tag starting in 2022. The Selwyn District instituted the tags in 2021.

This means that the dog’s registration number will remain the same with the registration renewing after each year’s fee is paid; the metal tag is designed to last the dog’s lifetime.

In Christchurch, where I live, the council issues 40,000 tags each year which would normally go to landfill. Instead, the metal tags will be recyclable when the tag is no longer required.

In managing our environment, it is nice to think that our dogs are doing their part and I, for one, will happily polish Izzy’s tag to keep it looking brand new while foregoing the annual change of the plastic tag.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

I am the owner of a responsible dog

Izzy, my greyhound, is a responsible dog and I, according to the Christchurch City Council, am a responsible dog owner.

Her yellow tag this year denotes that she is registered with the Christchurch City Council for the 2019/20 year.

In our district, a Responsible Dog owner is one that has met these criteria:

Izzy responsible dog

Izzy the greyhound

  • have been the registered owner of a dog and have resided in the Christchurch City Council district for at least 12 months
  • have paid dog registration fees on or before 30 June for the last two years
  • have all dogs micro-chipped in accordance with the Dog Control Act, including providing the microchip number to the Council
  • have a licence to keep multiple dogs on their property (if applicable)
  • inform the Council of any dog registration or residential address changes, including information on the death, sale, or transfer of any dogs, and including the birth of any pups.

The dog owner must have a property at which the dog resides that:

  • is suitably fenced and gated to contain the dog
  • allows dog-free access to a door of the dwelling for authorised callers.

The owner must have complied with the requirements of the Dog Control Act 1996 and the current Christchurch City Council Dog Control Bylaw, and must not, in the last two years, have:

  • had a dog that has been found at large, been uncontrolled, or been chased, returned or impounded by Council Animal Management staff
  • been issued with a warning notice or infringement notice for any dog-related offence
  • been prosecuted for any dog-related offence.

My Responsible Dog Owner status qualifies me for substantial discounts for dog registration.  Instead of $93.00 for the year, I paid $59.00.

While some properties can be configured for a dog-free access door, others may not.  But that’s about the only criteria that I think should be difficult for owners to achieve.  Having a dog is a luxury, not a right.  And bringing a dog into your life means that you are prepared to invest the time and money to keep them healthy, happy and well-behaved.

And in Izzy’s opinion, being a Responsible Dog is also easy:

  • walk on a lead with your owner or have excellent recall off-lead
  • greet other dogs respectfully, regardless of their size
  • don’t jump up for attention
  • have your owner clean up after you
  • move over when it is time to share the bed or sofa
  • promote adoption because there are many dogs out there needing homes
  • show unconditional love to the members of your family – they need it.

Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Dog registration

It’s that time of year again – time to renew Izzy’s registration.

Dog registration is a legal requirement throughout New Zealand and dogs must be registered before they reach the age of 3 months.

Licence tag

Dog registration fees vary widely across different city and district councils but most offer discounts for spaying/neutering and also holding responsible dog owner status.  In my case, I have held responsible dog owner status for years and this qualifies me for the lowest rate possible.

My $57 fee goes towards the support of services like impounding lost dogs until they can be re-united with their families (hopefully) and officers responding to complaints about dog bites or attacks.

Unfortunately, there’s a portion of our community who don’t register their dogs and so they are not paying their fair share for services.  I know that some people will say that they can’t afford to pay the fees; but I have to ask – if you can’t pay your registration fee how can you afford to care for your dog?

I support efforts to make people better dog guardians.  It starts with an understanding that having a dog is a privilege and not a right.  If you are going to be a good dog owner, then pay your fair share to manage dogs in your community.

Below is the schedule of dog registration fees for 2017/2018 in the Christchurch City Council area:

Item Fee
Dogs classified as dangerous
If paid on or before 31 July $137.00
If paid on or after 1 August $169.00
Un-neutered dogs (other than Responsible Dog Owner status)
If paid on or before 31 July $91.00
If paid on or after 1 August $124.00
Spayed/neutered dogs (other than Responsible Dog Owner status)
If paid on or before 31 July $80.00
If paid on or after 1 August $112.00
Owner granted Responsible Dog Owner status
First dog
If paid on or before 30 June $57.00
If paid between 1 July and 31 July $80.00
If paid on or after 1 August $112.00
Second and subsequent dogs
If paid on or before 30 June $39.00
If paid between 1 July and 31 July $80.00
If paid on or after 1 August $112.00
Working / Rural dogs
First dog
If paid on or before 31 July $27.00
If paid on or after 1 August $39.00
Second and subsequent dogs
If paid on or before 31 July $22.00
If paid on or after 1 August $32.00
Disability Assist dogs NIL
More Than Two Dogs licence (other than rural zoning and Banks Peninsula wards)
Licence for 3 dogs $70.00
Re-inspection fee – same property $32.00

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand