The Les Dalton Dog Park & Wainuiomata Dog Clubs

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry opened the Les Dalton Dog Park to the public on 15 May 2021. Hundreds of people and their dogs attended the first Dog Day Out in Hutt City’s first fenced dog park area.

“The dog park was named as a tribute to Les Dalton, who passed away one year ago today. Les worked at Hutt City Council’s Animal Services team for 43 years, and was a prominent local and national voice about dog control. The dog park was the last major project he worked on, and the council decided it was a fitting tribute to name the park after him.” (

Mayor Campbell Barry thanked Les Dalton’s family and presented them with a posthumous certificate of appreciation for his service.

Les Dalton in 1979 with a rescued, starving dog “Blackie” found in Wainuiomata. He hoped to nurse the dog back to health. The Courier, 22 May 1979.

Read about Les Dalton’s life and contribution to Hutt City Council and animal welfare in his obituary on Stuff.

Work began in January 2021 on the dog park in Wainuiomata.

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry and Wainuiomata Ward Councillor Keri Brown at the start of work on the Wainuiomata dog park in January 2021.

Campbell Barry said he was looking forward to seeing dog owners from across the city using the space and the new park will be “a great asset for all dog owners right across Lower Hutt”. (Hutt at Heart, 14 January 2021.)

The dog park is situated on Waiu Street, near the Parkway area of Wainuiomata and behind the church at the bottom of the hill, on the west side. The cycle/walkway are adjacent to the dog park.

Wainuiomata Valley, view from the Hill Rd, 1919. Shows a walking track leading through Beech Grove on the nearby ridge.   
Hutt City Libraries collection.
1950 parkway area
Parkway area, from the top of Wainuiomata Hill Road, 1950. Hutt City Libraries collection.
Parkway College, Wainuiomata, with dogs at play. Evening Post, 5 February 1972.

Dogs have always been important in Wainuiomata

Whether used in pig-hunting or as family pets, dogs have always been important in Wainuiomata.

Wainuiomata’s Dog clubs

The Wainuiomata All Breeds Canine Obedience Club was formed in 1977 and began its’ training courses in early 1978, aiming to produce well-mannered dogs. Classes were firstly held in the carpark behind the Wainuiomata Mall.

Madeline Biggs was one of the instructors for the first dog training obedience course in Wainuiomata. The Courier, 6 December 1977.

The Club’s Obedience Trials were held in Wainuiomata in 1978 and 1979 and attracted plenty of interest.

Mrs Curry with ‘Fran’, Mrs Waugh with ‘Della’ and Mrs Atkinson with ‘Tushka’. All were competing in the Canine Obedience Trials in Wainuiomata. The Courier, 14 March 1978.
Linda Thornton with her Dalmatian at Wainuiomata Canine Obedience Trials. The Courier, 14 March 1978.
Lisa Heald in the All Breeds Canine Obedience Trials, Wainuiomata. The Courier, 14 March 1978.
Wainuiomata All breeds Canine Obedience Club’s ribbon day, The Courier, 13 March 1979.
Jane and ‘Goldie’ at Dog Obedience trials. The Courier, 13 November 1979.

In 1983 the All Breeds Canine Obedience Club opened new clubrooms.

Opening of the All Breeds Canine Obedience Clubrooms in 1983. Valley News, November 1983.

The Wainuiomata Kennel Association was recognised by the NZ Kennel Club in 1981 – so it could hold ribbon parades and ‘open dog showing’. It included the Eastbourne area.

Wainuiomata SPCA started up in 1977 with an Animal Week in the Wainuiomata Mall. Pet parades, education in pet care, and “walkathons” were all part of various fundraising events over the years.

Donna and Lorraine Greet, Leanne and Sue Kenney and their samoyed dogs, Coco and Kita. They were taking part in Wainuiomata’s SPCA pet parade in 1978. The Courier, 29 August 1978.
Tiny the Afghan hound with the Manion family who visited Wainuiomata Mall to watch the SPCA pet parade in 1978. The Courier, 29 August 1978.
The 1985 SPCA show was held in Glendale hall In July 1985. Wainuiomata Advertiser, 24 July 1985.
The Walkathon in March 1985 was another fundraiser. Wainuiomata Advertiser, 27 March 1985.

For more information visit Hutt City Council – Les Dalton Dog Park.

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