Compromise over Tuapiro riders
The horse riding community and iwi have compromised over horse riding at Tuapiro Point.
Riders will continue to use parts of the area other than the protected sites of cultural significance and ecological sensitivity.
After receiving submission on the matter, Western Bay of Plenty District Council Council has agreed to changes that provide greater clarity on where horses can and cannot go.
Horse riders will be able still use the majority of the area but will no longer be permitted beyond the small island located on the estuary side of Tuapiro Point.
Mayor Garry Webber said the goodwill shown by the horse riding community and Nga¯ti Te Wai had enabled both parties to come to the table and work out a good compromise.
“Council will now do our bit to ensure that the right regulations and signage are in place so that there is no confusion about the use of Tuapiro Point.
“It is in the horse riding community’s hands to abide by the rules and respect the cultural and ecological values of this special place. Council can also help educate the community about these values and why it is important to protect them.”
New signage that clearly explains where horses are permitted and the responsibilities of horse riders to clean up all horse waste will be erected.
A code of conduct will be developed for all horse riding areas in the District, to set out expectations of its use.
The proposed change at Tuapiro Point was publicly consulted on from May to July with open days held at Katikati, Paengaroa and Waihi Beach.
Both Nga¯ti Te Wai and the horse riding community made it clear they wanted to find a compromise that would acknowledge the cultural and environmental issues while retaining what is a popular horse riding area.
A total of 597 submissions from individuals, riding clubs, iwi groups and others were received. The majority opposed banning horse riding at Tuapiro Point.
In addition to submissions, a petition with more than 1500 signatures was delivered on horseback to Council’s headquarters at Barkes Corner on August 3.
Hearings were held at which 80 people spoke on their submissions.
The revised Reserves and Facilities Bylaw has been recommended by Council’s Policy Committee but has yet to be formally adopted by Council on November 1.
The new bylaw provisions come into effect on November 9.
Council has also decided to conduct a broader review of the provision of horse riding areas across the District.
This review is planned for 2019/20.
Tuapiro Point — a new sign will clarify the horses riding permitted and restricted areas as well as riders’ responsibilities.