No explanation on DCC horse stance

Peter Bodeker.
Peter Bodeker.
The Dunedin City Council is refusing to say why it spooked the horses, as the Otago Regional Council rides to the rescue.

ORC chief executive Peter Bodeker yesterday confirmed the regional council had no plans to evict horses or their riders from the beach, saying the "level of disturbance" they caused did not warrant it.

The ORC had jurisdiction over the coastal marine area, from the high tide mark out into coastal waters, including the foreshore.

Mr Bodeker said the ORC’s coastal plan did not regulate horse riding in the coastal marine area, and there were no plans to do so.

His statement came after the Otago Daily Times this week reported a DCC bylaw review included a proposal to "restrict access by horses to above the high water springs mark on beach reserves".

Horses would also be prevented from  crossing over sand dunes, which could otherwise be damaged, it said.

The proposals were part of a wider review of the council’s existing Reserves Bylaw, which was being extended to cover beaches and included new rules for drones and vehicles.

However, the existing bylaw specifically identified four beaches where riders could take their horses down to the water, whereas the wording of the new version excluded it.

That worried riders, who said they would be forced off beaches altogether rather than risk injuring their animals by riding on the thin strip of soft sand the new rule left to them.

Council parks and recreation acting group manager Tom Dyer attempted to clarify the DCC’s position on Wednesday, saying the focus was protecting dunes, not removing horses from beaches.

The revised bylaw’s new language was designed to reflect "where the DCC’s jurisdiction ends, and where the Otago Regional Council’s jurisdiction begins", he said.

But, asked yesterday if the council had erred by unnecessarily spooking riders, Mr Dyer would not answer the question.

Instead, in an emailed response from DCC communications staff, he would only reiterate the aim was to ensure beaches and reserves were protected and "enjoyed by all".

"We welcome any comments and suggestions and are happy to consider clarifications to the bylaw wording if required."

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What is going on at the DCC? After multiple attempts from the ODT and Channel 39 to get a clear statement about this, we still don't have one. The ORC's comment about their intentions has been helpful but the DCC continues to make vague and meaningless statements about their "focus".

Councillor Kate Wilson, who seems to seems to have started this purge on horses, made comments yesterday that more or less confirms the DCC's proposal which is "To restrict access by horses to above the high water springs mark on beach reserves, and to prohibit them on dunes".

This is still the DCC's current proposal because nothing it has said has changed this. Because the DCC has caused a good deal of concern about this and because this is being publicly consulted, the DCC has the obligation to very clearly state what the proposal is. If it is unable to do so, then the whole new by-law should be withdrawn.

Jimmy! JJ. We missed you.

What spooks horses are Siberian huskies, as in the attack on a beach horse several years ago.

What spooks Arctic Circle huskies, malamute, wolverine, is living in warm climates. Not that it makes any difference to dog owners, who will 'do as they like'.

DCC can't explain their actions because they just don't understand how their misguided actions could have all gone so wrong.

Just a simple idea to block vehicular access to beaches becomes another stuff up. Simply because zealots try to control everything in Dunedin that doesn't suit their own vision of how people should live.

No comments from Mr Cull or the CEO, they are too busy fluffing around some Chinese language movies that 99% of the population don't give a rats about.

Mr Cull will never answers anything that is not of the glory nature

Keith, you can be brilliant sometimes. Fluffing around over some Chinese movies etc is very funny.

Time for an overhaul of the DCC, from Cull down as well as Top to Middle Management. Leave those at the coal face because they are the workers who must be laughing there socks off at how there seniors look. Dunedin needs fresh Ideas with Councillors and a Mayor who will work with its people not waste time and money doing a half pie jobs and working against us. Obviously the newly elected councillors must have fallen off there chairs laughing so much they can't yet stand up and speak as yet or they have fallen under the the Cull spell.

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