Wesley Knight Park closed while Karaka trees removed and new fences installed
Wesley Knight Park, a popular dog park in Paraparaumu Beach accessible via Ocean, Toru and Seaview Roads, is closed until further notice while Council removes a few Karaka trees and fences off others.
The trees’ berries, while a staple food source for the native Kereru (wood pigeon), are toxic and can be fatal to dogs. Parks and Recreation manager Alison Law says that the trees were identified last week.
“Signs were put up on Friday, warning park users of the danger the Karaka berries pose to dogs. The Karaka trees by the Ocean Road entrance will be removed and a larger cluster of others in the north western corner of the park will be fenced off. We’re closing the park while we do the work as a precautionary measure for park users.”
While Ms Law says that Council is taking proactive measures to protect park users and their dogs, she cannot guarantee that the park will be completely berry-free, even after the Karaka trees have been removed and adequately fenced off. She says that dog owners need to be careful when their dogs are off-leash and be aware of what their dogs are doing as unexpected threats can be hidden.
The Karaka trees themselves are quite distinct with thick, dark leaves, growing up to 15 metres tall. Their berries turn a bright orange colour during fruiting season (now until April), before falling on the ground.