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Communtity Law Manual | Disability rights | Assistance dogs (“disability assist dogs”)

Access to shops, transport and other services

Assistance dogs (“disability assist dogs”)

Dog Control Act 1996, s 75; Human Rights Act 1993, s 21

You can bring your assistance dog into any public place, including buses, trains and other public transport, and places owned by private businesses like supermarkets, restaurants and other food outlets, shopping malls, cinemas, and motels or hotels.

This right is specifically protected by the Dog Control Act, but it’s also protected by the anti-discrimination laws in the Human Rights Act. Under the HRA, if you’re treated differently because you’ve got an assistance dog, this is discrimination on the ground of disability.

However, the dog has to be one that’s been certified as a “disability assist dog” by an approved organisation like the Blind Foundation, Assistance Dogs NZ or Hearing Dogs for Deaf People NZ.

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