Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Wild horse muster in April

20 March, 2018

Wild horse muster in April


Horses being mustered by helicopter in 2016. Photo by Kimber Brown KHH

Up to 300 Kaimanawa wild horses may need to be removed this April from the Waiouru Military Training Area (WMTA) during the muster. As many as possible will be homed but all horses not adopted will be destroyed.

The muster is held every two years by the Department of Conservation to manage the herd at the sustainable level of 300 horses within the WMTA as recommended by the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Advisory Group. This number allows for horses in the herd to maintain best condition, and protects the fragile ecosystems unique to the Moawhango Ecological zone.

The re-homing of as many horses as possible is an important part of a successful muster says DOC Operations Manager Dave Lumley.

“Ideally all horses would be adopted, as was the case for the 100 horses mustered in 2016, however we know it’s a real challenge for the groups to find so many suitable homes.”

Dedicated not-for-profit group Kaimanawa Heritage Horses has taken on the task of finding new homes for the wild horses, and will be working hard over the next month taking applications and vetting potential homes.

Kaimanawa Heritage Horses only has applications for 56 horses to date and is hoping the many other applications promised, will come to fruition. “With only two weeks left until applications close, there’s not a lot of time for interested parties to deliberate. It’s a real concern that some people may simply run out of time, resulting in potentially homed horses being trucked to the abattoir”, says KHH Muster Coordinator, Simone Frewin.

Kaimanawa horses are gaining favour among the equestrian community as highly competitive sport horses. They’re the perfect option for those who can’t afford to purchase a $25,000 purpose bred pony but want a chance to be competitive in that class of competition. Since numbers were reduced to 300 individuals in the wild herd, the condition of the horses and their final mature height, has improved immeasurably. “The fact that we’re seeing more Kaimanawa ‘horses’ now rather than just ponies means they’re more suited to a wider variety of riders. It’s devastating to think that many of these horses just won’t have a chance”, says Simone.

The number of horses to be removed was confirmed last week after the annual aerial survey. “With the herd in such good condition the reproduction rate is up at around 30% per year” says Lumley “the population has risen to nearly double the recommended number. A herd greater than 300 not only impacts on the fragile environment and the condition of the horses but also increases the risk of horse migration towards SH1/the Desert Road and the related public safety concerns.”

The unique tussock grassland where the horses roam contains threatened plants, including at least 16 species in the New Zealand Threat Classification System, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. Many of these plants occur in habitats that can sustain very little disturbance from horses.


-Ends-


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why France Could Become Our Closest Ally In Europe

As PM Jacinda Ardern returns from a triumphant tour to Britain and the capitals of Europe, her officials have probably begun to assess what the more substantive gains from the trip might have been. Most of the chatter has been about potential trade deals – so lets just assume for the moment that bilateral trade deals between big and small countries are a good thing, despite the perils they pose to the smaller party. Currently, Britain is so involved with its Brexit nightmare that there seems little prospect of any substantive early progress on an FTA with Britain. In any case, New Zealand should be wary of being the first cab off that particular rank. ... More>>

 

HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages