Equinox has won the contract to develop a national database that will hold information about dogs in New Zealand.
The database is part of a package of measures to improve public safety around dogs. Internal Affairs is managing the project, worth about $350,000.
The database will hold information about the location and identity of dog owners and their dog, information that is currently collated and held by individual local authorities and is not available centrally.
Testing of the central database will begin in June and, from July, there will be testing of the interfaces with a representative sample of local authorities. The database proper will be launched in May 2006.
DIA is also responsible for developing policies around the microchipping of dogs. From July 1, 2006, all dogs registered on or after that date and those classified as menacing or dangerous since the Act was introduced in December 2003, will have to be microchipped. This information will be held on the national dog database.