24 Jun 2011

Renewed call to protect Kaimanawa horses

8:23 pm on 24 June 2011

There are fresh calls for the Conservation Minister to reintroduce a protection order on wild horses that roam the Kaimanawa Range east of Tongariro National Park.

Their protected status was lifted in 1996, and every year since there has been a round-up to reduce numbers.

The Kaimanawa Wild Horse Preservation Society and the Kaimanawa Horse Breed Society want a minimum herd size introduced.

Preservation society chair Kathy Meredith says members are concerned the Department of Conservation keeps numbers too low.

She says with fewer than 300 wild horses left, there's a chance of losing the breed in a bad winter or poor breeding season.

Ms Meredith says the society is organising a petition to present to Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson, which she hopes will be presented to Parliament in the next few months.