Riding in to save wild horses
Published on 04 September 2023
A charity trying to rein in a band of wild horses that are putting homes and motorists at risk has been granted $3000 by the Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board.
Megan Denize from the Helping Paws Charitable Trust told the board at its meeting on Wednesday 30 August that the horses near State Highway 12 west of Kaikohe are breaking into private properties and running on the road in their search for food.
Other organisations have tried to help without success. However, Megan says Helping Paws has stepped in and has already managed to bring seven horses in for rehabilitation but needs financial help to continue.
“These are not domesticated horses,” she says. “They have never been touched or worn a halter, so removing them, rehabilitating them and eventually rehoming them is a process that only people who are very experienced can deal with for the safety of both the local community, the rescuers and the horses themselves.”
There are thought to be up to 17 wild horses in the area between Kaikohe and Tāheke, believed to have evolved from a group abandoned by their owner about 20 years ago. Megan says it can take rescuers about 10 hours on horseback to round up two to five horses at a time.
“This is a significant effort which we are committed to seeing through for the safety of the local community. The funding from the community board will enable us to keep the horses fed while we work through their rehabilitation,” Megan says.
The community board also agreed to grant $3000 to the Hokianga Community Education Trust to go towards the costs of publishing a book about the area by local author Susy Pointon. Some of the author’s royalties return to the trust to support other local organisations and events such as film, book, and science festivals.
The board also approved $2865 for the annual Hokianga Country Music Festival, which runs from 29 September to 1 October.