Dog Registration

Registering Your Dog

Registration of any dog is compulsory throughout New Zealand.

Every Territorial Authority keeps a register of all dogs registered within its area. This data is also recorded on the National Dog Database.

Dogs must be registered from the age of three months old.

Registration is due annually on 1 July and it is up to the dog owner to apply for registration without first being invoiced.

If your dog was registered last year, you should receive a registration form in the mail during July. If you do not receive the registration form, you will need to collect one from a Council Service Centre or request one be sent to you.

When you have completed your registration form, please return it to Council with the corresponding payment or payment details on or before 1 August.


Dog registration fees are set annually and apply from 1 July to 30 June of each year.

You will be charged a late payment fee if you pay after 1 August. The late payment fee is 50% of the fee charged - so you can save a lot by paying on time.

Click here to view the latest Fees & Charges.


On 1 July 2006, it became compulsory for all new dogs to be microchipped in accordance with the Dog Control Act 1996, with the exception of working dogs. This includes any dogs that have never been registered and dogs classed as menacing.

Once your dog is microchipped, please ensure that you provide Council with the microchip number.

If you require further information on microchipping, contact your local vet or contact Tararua District Council.

Change of Details

If your dog is deceased, you will need to fill out this form (1MB pdf) and return to council. If you have left the district, sold or transferred ownership of a dog, you will need to fill out this form (1MB pdf) and return to council.

Preferred Owner Status

Your dog must be registered for at least a year before you are eligible to apply for the Preferred Owner Status. Applications for Preferred Owner Status must be made after the second week of August, and before the last Friday in April, to be eligible for the reduce fee for the following registration year. All approvals are subject to a satisfactory property inspection and administrative checks.

The preferred owner system aims to provide an incentive to promote responsible dog ownership.

You can get the forms from your nearest office or download the forms here (2MB pdf).

Permission to Keep Three or More Dogs

You will require Council consent to keep three or more dogs on an urban property - click here (2MB pdf) to download the form.

Approved applicants who have not registered their dog(s) on or before 1 August in any registration year, or have on going complaints may have their approval revoked.

Unregistered Dogs

If your dog remains unregistered after 31 August you may receive a fine of $300 per dog and risk having the dog seized and impounded.

You may also lose any preferred owner status and will be ineligible to apply for preferred owner status for 12 months.

Benefits of Registering Your Dog

  • A dog's registration tag offers proof of ownership.
  • If your dog is found and it is wearing its tag, you will be contacted as soon as possible to arrange the release of your dog.
  • If you are moving to another district, you can take your Tararua District Council tag to your new local Council and they will exchange it for one of theirs at no charge.

What Does Your Registration Pay For?

A 24/7 animal control service that responds to:

  • Dog attacks
  • Aggressive dogs
  • Uncontrolled dogs
  • Nuisance barking

Useful Forms

Below is a list of forms that you may find useful as a dog owner:

Council is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding animal control. You can get in touch with the Council team by emailing, or phoning 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110.