Wellington City Council has dropped a controversial plan to cull the pigeon population in the capital.
Concerns about health issues and the damage done to buildings had led the council to announce earlier this year that the birds might be shot by contractors.
Often referred to as 'rats with wings', pigeons have long been a problem in central Wellington, with complaints about them near cafes and around the railway station.
However, a plan to shoot the birds caused public outrage, a petition and demands from the SPCA for a more humane control method.
The council says it will continue investigating other means, but for now it is simply encouraging people not to feed the birds.
The Wellington Anti-Cull Coalition group welcomes the change of heart, but says it will continue to monitor the situation closely.