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Don't ride your horses into the Wairoa Township

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Horses will be impounded if people are riding them recklessly through the main street in Wairoa, along the river bank, in the township itself or near the town’s new Destination Playground, Council is warning.

The stern warning comes after some young people were observed riding horses at full gallop in these areas, sparking major concern among visitors and locals.

Chief Operating Officer Helen Montgomery says police have been contacting Council directly about this issue, and Council Enforcement Officers have spoken to several horse owners, who have been compliant.

Ms Montgomery says however there are many who do not listen to these warnings and continue to put others in danger by riding their horses in and around public spaces.

“Council understands that in some cases, horses are a means of transport and people enjoy riding at their own leisure; but there are dangers to having these animals around young children and families, especially if those people are not used to being around horses” Ms Montgomery says.

“Riding a horse at full gallop in and around the new playground is simply unacceptable, as this is a zone designed for use by children.

“With the growing number of children at the new play area, the Wairoa skate bowl and people having picnics along the river bank, riding a horse in these spaces is an accident waiting to happen.”

Council’s Enforcement Officers will be policing these areas. Any owner or horse rider seen in these spaces will be spoken to, asked to dismount and lead their horse away from the area.

If riders and owners continue to disregard these orders, the horse will be impounded. A person ordered to leave a reserve is likely to be prosecuted for breaching Council bylaws.

Council bylaws state that a person in control of an animal on any public place shall make sure that the animal is kept under proper control, with consideration for other persons using the public place.

If you would like any further information about Council’s bylaws around riding your horses in public areas, you can visit Council’s website on https://www.wairoadc.govt.nz/our-council/policies-and-bylaws/bylaw alternatively you can contact Council officers on 06 838 7309.

31 October 2018

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