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Dog registration

All dogs in Buller need to be registered.

  • Registration needs to be renewed annually and must be paid by 31 July each year.
  • Ensure that your dog is wearing a current registration tag at all times.
  • Puppies must be registered before they reach 3 months of age.

Dogs can be registered at Council Offices in Westport and Reefton during normal office hours, 8.30 am - 4.30 pm Monday to Friday.

You can contact our Animal Management Officers through Council’s 24-hour number 03 788 9111 or 0800 807 239. Or email 

2022/2023 dog registration

If you own a dog, you should have received your dog registration form in July. Call into Council offices in Westport or Reefton to pay and pick up your green tag.

  • Desexed $67.50
  • Entire $87.50

This is subject to changes for each financial year as part of the Annual Plan.

Working dog rate

If you use your dog principally for herding or droving stock your dog is eligible for our working dog rate.

  • Desexed $50.50
  • Entire $65.50

This is subject to changes for each financial year as part of the Annual Plan.

Busy? You can also download the registration form and pay through online payment. Or dogs can be registered at Council offices in Westport and Reefton.

Replacement dog tags for those lost or stolen are also available for a minimal charge at Council offices.

A penalty of 50% of the appropriate dog registration fee applies (from 2 August each year). There is no reason to be late, so get it done next time you are in town.

Change of ownership

If the ownership of a dog changes, the registration of the dog continues, but the previous owner and the new owner must advise Council of the changes within 14 days. Council needs to be advised in writing of the change of ownership, including the residential address of the new owner and the address at which the dog will ordinarily be kept. The Notification of Change form can be below. 

Things you need to know

The legislation relating to registration of dogs is covered by the Dog Control Act 1996. If you keep a dog, then it must be registered. A dog owner may be fined up to $300 for failing to register a dog.

Registered dogs moving into the district receive free registration for the remainder of the registration year, provided the owner produces proof of current registration and swaps their current tag for a Buller District tag. Puppies that turn 12 weeks during the registration year pay a pro rata fee for the remainder of that year.

As a dog owner you must contact the Buller District Council if you:

  • Move house or district.
  • Have a new phone number.
  • Give your dog to someone else.
  • Have a new dog.
  • Had your dog microchipped or desexed recently.

Infringement notices or prosecution can result from the following:

  • Roaming dogs.
  • Dogs rushing or attacks on persons, pets, stock or wildlife.
  • Non-compliance with any part of the Dog Control Act 1996.

If you have any queries, complaints or problems regarding dog registration, lost or found dogs, barking dogs, dangerous dogs, or impounded dogs, please call Animal Control on 03 788 9111 or 0800 807 239.

Please contact an Animal Control Officer for information on how to apply for permission to own more than three dogs or download the application form here.

Contact details:

24-hour Animal Control Services
Phone: 03 788 9111

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