When Covid restrictions put a spanner in the works of Blind Low Vision NZ’s training of guide dogs, the organisation looked south and got a border exemption, Stuff reveals. The future guide dogs would usually be trained in Auckland, but three trainers and six guide dogs have been walking Hamilton’s empty streets since September 2, and will continue under alert level 2. It costs up to $70,000 each year to raise one qualified dog. Up to 40 dogs are trained every year in New Zealand and there are about 100 on the puppy programme at various stages.