Dog Registration & Information

For any dog related issues please contact South Wairarapa District Council on 06 306 9611.

How do I register my dog?

Register your dog by printing and filling out this form.

Once you have printed and filled out the form, please take it to one of our service centres at the Greytown or Featherston library or bring it in to our Martinborough office. Please note that all dogs must be registered by 3 months of age. 

If you wish to pay online, please click here

Do I need to register my dog?

Yes, all dogs aged 3 months or older, including all rural dogs, must be registered by 31 July each year. Applications to register must be sent to the South Wairarapa District Council, 19 Kitchener Street, Martinborough in time for registration by 31 July.

A late registration fee of an additional 50% will be imposed for all dogs registered after 1 August each year.

All dogs that were first registered on or after 1 July 2006 must also be microchipped.  Working dogs kept solely or principally for herding or driving stock and wearing current registration tags are exempt from this requirement. New dogs must be microchipped within two months of their first registration.

What are the fees?

Fees associated with dog ownership Fees by 31 July 2021 Late fees From 1 August 2021
Urban Desexed $77.00 $115.00
Rural Desexed $43.00 $64.50
Urban Entire $110.00 $165.00
Rural Entire $70.00$105.00
Microchipping$20.00 per dog
Flat fee for up to 10 Rural Dogs $220.00 plus $22.00 per additional dog$330.00 plus $33.00 per additional dog
Surrender a dog for euthanasiaVet fee plus 10%
Permit application to keep more than two dogs in an urban area including breeder $150.00
Costs and expenses relating to impounding or seizing, and securing dogsActual costs plus 10%
Replacement registration tag (if tag lost or damaged)$8.00
CollarsActual cost plus 10%
Seizure Fee$80.00
Dog impounding and associated feesFee
First Impounding $80.00
Second Impounding $170.00
Third Impounding $270.00
Feeding (per day) $25.00

What happens if I don’t register my dog?

If you are in the possession of an unregistered dog for longer than 72 hours, you are deemed the owner of that dog under the Dog Control Act 1996.  You will be given time to provide the dogs details and pay the registration fee. If the registration fee is not paid by the time given, you will receive an infringement notice for failure to register a dog. The infringement fee is $300 per dog.  Failure to register after this may result in your dog being seized and impounded.  You will need to pay impound fees, registration and microchipping costs (if not already done) before your dog will be released.

How do I transfer a registered dog in from another area?

There is no cost to transfer a registered dog in from another area.  You can fill in the form below and take it to one of our service centres or the Council offices in Martinborough.  You can also scan and send to bylaws@swdc.govt.nz and you will be sent a tag in the mail.  Proof of registration will be required as well as personal identification in the form of a valid NZ driver’s License or a valid passport.

Transfer dog form

I’m moving out of South Wairarapa District with my dog  What do I need to do?

Fill in the form below and return to the South Wairarapa District Council and email to Bylaws or drop in to one of our service centres or our Martinborough Office.   When you arrive at your new destination, take your dog’s tag into the new Council. They will add you to their database and issue you a new tag for their district.  Your dog is registered for the whole of New Zealand. There is no cost to transfer a registered dog to another area within a registration year (1 July to 30 June).  You may need to produce ID when registering a dog at a new Council.

Owner and dog moving to a new area form

My dog is deceased. Can I get a refund of my registration fees?

Yes. Council can refund the full amount of the remaining months of the current registration year from the date they are notified of the dog’s death. You must fill in the declaration form and provide evidence to prove your dog is deceased and the date your dog died.

Deceased dog declaration form

I have rehomed my dog and am no longer responsible for registering it. What do I do?

We require proof that the dog is no longer in your care by supplying details of the new ownership. You will need to fill in the form below to ensure legal transfer of responsibility to the new owner.

Rehome dog to new owner form

Can I pay part of my yearly fees?

No, you cannot. Council does not take part payments, however, if you have a puppy that is registered for the first time, you will be charged for the amount of full remaining months in the year. If you are registering a new adult dog you will need to pay for a full year of registration.

What do I need to know when registering and Microchipping my dog?

Dog registrations are due by 31 July every year. A 50% penalty will apply after that date.

  • All dogs 3 months and older must be registered with the Council.
  • Registration tags must be attached to the dog’s collar at all times.
  • Dogs found with no registration tags will be deemed unregistered and impounded. Impound fees may apply.
  • All dogs registered for the first time must be micro-chipped (except working dogs).
  • The microchip number must be given to Council so we can add it to your dog’s details.

What are the rules and regulations for dogs in South Wairarapa?

  • All dogs must be registered with the Council.
  • Keep your dog under control at all times.
  • Dogs must be contained on their property and not be allowed to wander.
  • Dogs must be on a leash in urban areas.
  • Carry a leash when you are in rural areas.
  • Ensure your dog receives proper care, food, water, shelter and exercise.
  • Clean up after your dog in public areas.
  • Make sure your dog does not injure, endanger, intimidate or distress anyone.
  • Accept liability for any damage your dog does.
  • Muzzle your dog in public if it is known to be unsociable or aggressive.
  • Comply with Councils’ dog bylaws.

Dog obedience

Puppy classes are a great way to socialise your dog and important for their behavioural learning. We highly recommend dog obedience classes for puppies and adult dogs. You will also learn tips on how to control your dog. There are several providers in the Wairarapa for classes or individual lessons.

Where can I take my dog to exercise?

Dogs must be leashed while walking on urban streets, and under control at all times in any off-leashed dog parks or rural areas. There are 3 off-leash dog parks listed below for you and your dog to enjoy.

Featherston: On the corner of Harrison Street West and Johnston Street.
Martinborough: On Weld Street, opposite Robert Street.
Greytown: Corner of Pierce and Cotter Streets Greytown. Access is via West Street.

Places where dogs are prohibited: All children’s play areas, sports grounds, and coastal camping areas.

Why has my dog been impounded?

Dogs that are roaming, or have been seized for any reason are taken to the pound by Council Bylaw Officers who will ensure the dogs are cared for while in the pound. If your dog is seen wandering and is not wearing current registration tag, it will be impounded. All dogs must wear their current registration tag to show they are registered. Registered dogs may also be impounded if found to be wandering.

The South Wairarapa District Impound facility is on Johnston Street in Featherston.

How do I report a dog attack?

In the event of a dog attack on a person, animal, stock or protected wildlife contact the Council confidentially on 06 306 9611 (24 hours) to report.

You will be asked to provide the following:

  • Time and date of incident
  • Details of the victim(s)
  • Your details
  • Exact location of the incident
  • A description of the offending dog (colour, breed, size, sex, tag number)
  • Address of dog (if known)
  • Where you last saw the dog
  • Details of any witnesses
  • If the dog caused injury to a person or animal
  • A vet or doctor’s report
  • Photos of the injuries
  • A signed statement from you and any other witnesses

How many dogs can I have?

You can have up to two dogs on an urban property. If you want to have more than 2 urban dogs you can apply for a permit by filling in the application below. The cost to apply for a permit is $144. Bylaws Officers will visit and meet your dogs and will also contact your neighbours to advise of the permit. There is no limit for rural properties. Contact the Bylaw Officers or ring 06 306 9611.

Additional Urban Dog Permit Application

I’ve lost my dog, what do I do?

Ring the Bylaw Officers on 06 306 9611 (24 hours) to see if it has already been picked up. In the event that it has not been picked up, Bylaws Officers will know to keep an eye out for it.

What are the fees to retrieve a dog from the pound?

If your dog has been taken to the pound you will have to pay a fee before we will release the dog: Contact the Bylaw Officers or ring 06 306 9611 to arrange for the release of your dog. Proof of ownership is required. Our Schedule of Fees includes pound fees.

What do I need to know about microchipping my dog?

If your dog is not a working dog, it must be microchipped. You have 2 months from the date of first registration to have your pup microchipped. Talk to your vet to schedule a microchipping appointment. Bylaws Officers can also microchip your dog at a cost of $20 per dog.

A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is permanently implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip holds a 15-digit number much like a bar code; there is no other information on a microchip.  When a dog is found wandering or lost it is scanned for a microchip and the number is put into the National Dog Database to show who owns the dog, anywhere in New Zealand.  

If your dog is lost or stolen, microchips allow it to be easily identified anywhere in New Zealand Aotearoa so you’ll be reunited with your dog quickly.

The New Zealand Institute of Animal Management website has great advice on dog training, dog bite education, dog rules, livestock rules and further help: www.nziam.org.nz

Council’s Dog Bylaws & Policy

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