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Northern Kaimanawa Horses, Adjacent To No-Go Zone

Kaimanawa Horse Consortium

23 January 2004

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation
Parliament Buildings

Dear Minister

Re: Northern Kaimanawa Horses, Adjacent To ‘No-Go Zone’

We, the Kaimanawa Horse Consortium, write regarding our concerns to the proposed shooting of approx 20 horses in the area adjacent to the ‘No-Go Zone’ in the northern region.

At least two bands of horses that make up these numbers were observed to be in the Maori land on the Oruamatua blocks at Christmas time by the Trustee of Oruamatua, members of the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare Trust Inc and a representative of the Franz Weber Foundation.

The Oruamatua blocks were recently surveyed to clarify the boundaries between Army and Maori land. It was found that the presumed boundaries were not correct and we ask that you recognise this latest survey.

We find it abhorrent that these horses are to be shot from helicopters on such rugged terrain, as the risk of leaving wounded horses to a long and horrible fate is far too likely to happen. We have been advised that a second helicopter with a vet will follow, to ensure all horses are totally destroyed. However, wounded horses in this sort of terrain will be very hard to find. The Trustee of Oruamatua IU & IV Blocks is happy for the horses to be pushed on to the Maori land, which they once offered to fence. This proposal was strongly objected to by the Army, who subsequently agreed on their monthly boundary check to push back any horses if they strayed on to Army land.

We understand these horses have remained in the area prior to 1997 with numbers remaining static. What evidence do you have to the contrary that supports implementing an eradication programme? Please forward copies of any correspondence or collaborating evidence supporting this proposal at your earliest convenience to our office.

Shooting has shown to be an inhumane way of dealing with wild horses, as per the Brumby situation in Australia, where the New South Wales Government banned helicopter shooting in 2002, as a result of proven Brumby suffering at Guy Fawkes River National Park. You have been offered an alternative and we ask that you give this serious consideration and compassion to avoid this potential blood bath and the public criticism that will undoubtedly follow.
Yours sincerely

Elder Jenks
Chairman - Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare Trust Inc.

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