Dog Registration & Information

*From 1 July 2024 dog registration fees will increase by 5%. New fees indicated in table below.

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

In New Zealand, every dog owner is legally required to have their pet registered and microchipped. Dogs in South Wairarapa must be registered by 31 July each year.

Registering and microchipping your dog is a simple way for Council to identify your dog as yours, and allows us to easily reunite a dog with it’s owner if it goes missing.

How do I register my dog(s)?

Print, fill and sign the Dog Registration Form and return to Council – or complete the form at one of our service centres at Featherston Library, Greytown Library or the Council office at 19 Kitchener Street, Martinborough.

You can also request a form be mailed to you by contacting us on 06 306 9611 or emailing

If you have previously registered your dog in South Wairarapa, you should receive your new registration form by post or email. Before you return the form:

  • Check that the details as listed are correct
  • Delete any dogs sold or disposed of during the year or add any dogs that you now own but are not listed
  • Check that dog owner’s date of birth is on form
  • Sign the form and return together with your payment

Payment can also be made online or at one of our library service centres or Martinborough office.

Forms must be returned to Council, signed and dated, before tag(s) can be issued.

If you have paid online, you can also return your completed form via post to:

South Wairarapa District Council
PO Box 6, Martinborough 5741

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.

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 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. The microchip number must be given to Council so we can add it to your dog’s details.

What are the fees?

Legal Notice

Notice is hereby given pursuant to section 37 of the Dog Control Act 1996, that the South Wairarapa District Council has set the following dog control fees inclusive of GST for all dogs within the South Wairarapa District. The fees set out below cover the financial period commencing 1 July 2023 and ending 30 June 2024.

Fees associated with dog ownership Fees by 31 July 2023 Late fees From 1 August 2023(Fee update 1 July) Fees by 31 July 2024
(GST incl.)
Late fees from 1 August 2024 (GST incl.)
Urban Desexed $85.00 $127.50 $89.00$132.00
Rural Desexed $47.00 $70.50 $49.00$74.00
Urban Entire $121.00 $181.50 $127.00$190.00
Rural Entire $77.00$115.50 $81.00$119.00
Flat fee for up to 10 Rural Dogs $242.00 plus $24.00 per additional dog$363.00 plus $36.00 per additional dog$254.00 plus $25.00 per additional dog$381.00 plus $38.00 per additional dog
Microchipping$20.00 per dog
Surrender a dog for euthanasia$350 plus actual costs
Permit application to keep more than two dogs in an urban area including breeder $165.00
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$100.00
Dog impounding and associated feesFee
First Impounding $80.00
Second Impounding $200.00
Third Impounding $300.00
Feeding (per day) $25.00

What does the dog fees pay for?

Dog registration fees enable Council to:

  • Provide a 24 hour service to respond to reports of dog attacks and roaming dogs
  • Patrol public areas – reserves, parks, beaches, sports fields etc
  • Respond to animal welfare concerns
  • Reunite lost dogs with owners
  • Maintain pound facilities and care for impounded dogs
  • Provide poo bags at dog parks and in our towns
  • Maintain National Dog Data Base records
  • Administer Microchipping as per the Dog Control Act

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

  • 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 $165. 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.

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.

Preventing sheep measles

Sheep measles is the term used to describe small blemishes in the muscle and offal of sheep and goats. These blemishes are unsightly and can disrupt our sheepmeat market, as well as affecting our farmers’ bottom line.

The cause is Taenia ovis, a tapeworm, hosted by dogs. Infected dogs defecate leaving tapeworm eggs on the ground; nearby sheep and goats graze the area and ingest the tapeworm eggs. These eggs travel through the bloodstream and embed into muscle where they die and calcify, damaging the meat. One tapeworm can produce up to 250,000 eggs daily and some dogs can carry 3-4 worms. Tapeworm eggs can survive on the ground for up to 300 days and can travel 10kms (mainly via flies).

The method of prevention is simple. All dogs residing on sheep farmland must be dosed every month with Praziquantel, as Taenia ovis develops to maturity within 35 days. If you are not regularly taking dogs near farmland, you can still do your part by dosing all dogs with Praziquantel at least 48 hours prior to arrival.

Find out more at

Section 10A Dog Report

To enable Council to adopt the report on dog control policy and practices so as to meet the requirements of Section 10A of the Dog Control Act 1996.

Dog Control Policy and Practices Report for 2022-2023
Dog Control Policy and Practices Report for 2021/2022

Related Links

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

Council’s Dog Bylaws & Policy

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