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Disability assist dogs

disability dogs

Disability assist dogs can travel on all Metlink trains, buses, harbour ferries and taxis at any time of the day, when accompanied by their disabled handler or someone involved with their training. This is specified under the Dog Control Act 1996.

You can request to use one the priority seats and your dog should sit on the floor beside you, not on a seat or your knee. You and your dog can travel at any time.

A disability assist dog is a dog certified by a recognised organisation as a dog trained or being trained to assist a person with a disability and Metlink staff may request to see an identification card from one of these recognised organisations:

  • Blind Foundation
  • Hearing Dogs for Deaf People New Zealand
  • Mobility Assistance Dogs Trust
  • New Zealand Epilepsy Assist Dogs Trust
  • Top Dog Companion Trust
  • Assistance Dogs New Zealand
  • Perfect Partners Assistance Dogs Trust

Taking your pet on public transport


Under the new Conditions of Carriage you are able to take your pet on Metlink trains and Wairarapa bus services from 30 April 2018.

Domestic pets are allowed to travel on all Metlink trains, buses and harbour ferries as long as your pet is enclosed in a suitable pet carrier - not just a bag! The carrier can be stored in the luggage space or on your lap. The good news is your pet travels for free.

Other things to be aware of:

  • Your pet is your responsibility, including getting on and off the bus, train or ferry
  • You can only take your pet during off peak times (9:00am to 3:00pm and after 6:30pm during week days, and all day weekends and public holidays)
  • If the vehicle is crowded, Metlink staff can ask you to wait for the next service
  • If your pet is disrupts other customers you may be asked to get off at the next stop or station
  • Pets are not permitted on ferries travelling to Matiu/Somes as this is a wildlife sanctuary.

If you are travelling with your pet and see a disability assist dog (guide dog) entering the bus or train, please advise the handler that you have a pet on board. If possible, it is helpful to move with your pet to the rear of the bus or train carriage, so that the disability assist dog (guide dog) team can get settled without added distraction.