Dog Control Act 1996

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Department of Internal Affairs

Version as at 30 November 2022

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Dog Control Act 1996

Public Act
1996 No 13
Date of assent
2 May 1996
see section 1(2)

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.


1Short Title and commencement
3Act to bind the Crown
5Obligations of dog owners
6Functions, duties, and powers of territorial authorities
7Power to appoint joint committees
8Performance of functions [Repealed]
10Duty of territorial authorities to adopt policy on dogs
10AALocal authority must review policy if bylaw implementing policy requires review
10ATerritorial authority must report on dog control policy and practices
11Dog control officers
12Dog rangers
13Dog control officer and dog ranger to produce warrant of authority and evidence of identity
14Power of entry
15Power of dog control officer or dog ranger to feed and shelter dogs
16Districts in which dog control officer or dog ranger may exercise powers
17Powers of warranted officers
18Wilful obstruction of dog control officer or dog ranger
19Power of constable, dog control officer, or dog ranger to request information about owner
19APower of constable, dog control officer, or dog ranger to request information about dog
20Dog control bylaws
21Classification of probationary owners
22Objection to classification as probationary owner
23Probationary owners
23ATerritorial authority may require probationary owner to undertake training
24Obligation of probationary owners to dispose of unregistered dogs
25Disqualification of owners
26Objection to disqualification
27Appeal to District Court
28Effect of disqualification
29Probationary classification and disqualification to extend over New Zealand
30Maintenance of records and provision of information
30AATerritorial authority may retain information about infringement notice until infringement fee paid
30AProhibition on import of dogs listed in Schedule 4
31Territorial authority to classify dangerous dogs
32Effect of classification as dangerous dog
32ADangerous dog classification to extend over New Zealand
33Territorial authority’s consent to disposal of dangerous dog
33ATerritorial authority may classify dog as menacing
33BObjection to classification of dog under section 33A
33CDogs belonging to breed or type listed in Schedule 4 to be classified as menacing
33DObjection to classification of dog under section 33C
33EEffect of classification as menacing dog
33EAMenacing dog classification to extend over New Zealand
33EBTerritorial authority (other than classifying authority) may require neutering of menacing dog
33ECOffence to fail to comply with section 33E(1) or 33EB
33EDTerritorial authority to classify certain dogs as dangerous or menacing
33FOwner must advise person with possession of dangerous or menacing dog of requirement to muzzle and leash dog in public
34Dogs register
35Supply of register information
35ANational dog control information database
35ABNational dog control information database may contain additional information supplied by territorial authority
35BLevy to fund costs of national dog control information database
36Application for registration
36AMicrochip transponder must be implanted in certain dogs
37Territorial authority to set fees
38Registration fee for certain dogs registered on or after 2 August
39Refund and reduction of fees
40Proof of class of dog
41Penalty for false statement relating to application for registration
41ADead dogs
42Offence of failing to register dog
43Registration of impounded dog, dog in quarantine, or dog in custody of society established to prevent cruelty to animals [Repealed]
44Dog not wearing proper label or disc deemed unregistered
45Burden of proof on owner of dog
46Issue of label or disc and completion of registration
47Registration to extend over New Zealand
48Change of ownership of dog
49Transfer of dog from one address or district to another
50Dog not wearing proper label or disc may be impounded
51Offences relating to collars, labels, and discs
52Control of dogs generally
52AControl of dog on owner’s property
53Offence of failing to keep dog under control
54Obligations of dog owner
54AOwner must use or carry leash in public
55Barking dogs
56Removal of barking dog causing distress
57Dogs attacking persons or animals
57ADogs rushing at persons, animals, or vehicles
58Dogs causing serious injury
59Seizure or destruction of dog at large in vicinity of protected wildlife
60Seizure or destruction of dog running at large among stock or poultry
61Orders relating to dog seen worrying stock
62Allowing dogs known to be dangerous to be at large unmuzzled
63Owner liable for damage done by dog
64Procedure where order made for destruction of dog
65Infringement offences
66Infringement notices
66AJurisdiction for category 1 offences
67Provision of pound facilities
68Pound fees
69Impounding and subsequent disposal of dog
69AImpounded dog must be microchipped and registered before release
70Custody of dog removed for barking
71Retention of dog threatening public safety
71ADisposal of dog seized under section 15 or 33EC
71BDistrict Court to determine appeal
72Offence to release dog from custody
72APower of dog control officer or dog ranger to seize released dog
73No liability where dog wounded in attempt to destroy
74Limitation of liability for damage
75Disability assist dogs
76Giving and content of notices
77Application of fines
78ARegulations adding further breed or type to Schedule 4
78BProcedure for bringing Order in Council made under section 78A into force
78CMatters to which Minister must have regard before recommending Order in Council under section 78A
78DRegulations amending Schedule 5
79Consequential amendments

An Act—


to make better provision for the control of dogs; and


to make better provision in relation to damage caused by dogs; and


to repeal the Dog Control and Hydatids Act 1982 and its amendments