Dogs could be banned from the centre of Kaikohe in a proposal being considered by the local community board.
The debate on wandering and threatening dogs has been re-ignited by a serious of dogfights witnessed recently by a large number of people in the centre of town.
If the ban goes ahead it is likely to be limited to working hours and a few mainly commercial streets in the CBD.
Ironically, the latest dogfight involved an unregistered pitbull being attacked by a registered but unrestrained dog - a rottweiler - jumping off the back of a passing ute.
Police were called in to restore public order while council animal control officers dealt with the dogs.
The proposal was discussed at last week's Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board meeting, with council monitoring officer Andy Dowdle telling board members it was legally possible to ban dogs from certain areas.
"It's just the practicalities of banning them altogether from an urban area. There will be legitimate dog owners living in the area and dogs we don't want banned, like guide dogs," he said.
The council was already working with police - new Senior Sergeant Arthur McLean has taken a hard line on threatening dogs - and problems in central Kaikohe had eased in the past six months.
In other places, such as Rawene and Kawakawa, problems had increased.
However, Mr Dowdle said the perception remained there were too many dogs in town, and those concerns had been heightened by the dogfight.
In that case the pitbull owner had been ordered to register his dog while the rottweiler's owner was likely to be prosecuted.
Kaikohe residents had also complained about threatening dogs tethered outside businesses, leaving other people unable to enter the shops.
Board member Leif Pakai asked whether a ban would apply 24 hours a day or only at specific times.
"We have people who walk their dogs early in the morning or late at night - are we saying to them they can't use the CBD?"
Mr Pakai said many problem owners were ill-informed, and education was the key to the town's dog troubles.
Councillor Tracy Dalton said the dogfight was an unusual incident, and she was not convinced a dog ban was the right solution.
"We'd be taking away the right of dog owners to walk their dogs, or have the security of having a dog with them ... I'd hate to see good owners banned."
Mrs Dalton said if a bylaw banning dogs was introduced, it should apply in business hours only.
The proposed area covers Broadway from Rankin St to Hongi St, Mangakahia Rd and Raihara St as far as Recreation Rd, Memorial Ave, Station Rd and Marino Court.
All three community boards are being consulted about the idea and their views will be taken to the Far North District Council for consideration later this year.