Events policy quashes unique Auckland rodeo ban

01:54, Jul 22 2014

Revelations a unique ban of rodeos on public land has been "wiped overnight'' is causing a stir.

And one councillor is pushing for the political debate to go public claiming the stress and harm animals face in the rodeo industry is an ethical issue.

The legacy Auckland City Council became the first of its kind in New Zealand to ban rodeo events on council land. None of the other six councils had bans.

Auckland's only annual rodeo is held in Warkworth.

The treatment of animals in rodeos is nationally controlled under the Animal Welfare (Rodeos) Code of Welfare 2003 and the more general Animal Welfare Act 1999.

But Auckland Council officers revealed this morning the Auckland City ban was superseded by council's new events policy, brought in last year.

Albert-Eden-Roskill councillor Cathy Casey said no-one knew it was wiped and questioned why it was not publicised.

A council officer said the legacy rodeo ban was consulted on by the Arts, Culture and Events Committee before the new events policy was signed off.

But Casey disputed that, saying during her time on the events panel the ban's expiry was never brought up.

''At no time was any mention made of Auckland City Council's ban of rodeos in Auckland. It was not discussed, it was never mentioned and therefore it couldn't possibly have been repealed.''

She said when the issue came up a month ago council officers again failed to mention it.

''[The ban] was one Auckland City Council was lauded for across New Zealand, it was the first council ever to ban rodeo from public land. And I'm proud of that decision . . . I got a phone call from John Banks that night and it was the first time he's ever called me. It was the first time a council's ever taken issue.

''And to just suddenly wipe that based on officer advice and not a political debate . . . What I'd like this committee do is to move this not to another committee but move it to the governing body for review.''

Casey said if council does not roll the ban over, ''that's fine''.

''But for me it's an ethical issue and we have a right as a governing body to have a say on how this city runs." she said.

''It's too important just to be wiped overnight."

''You owe it to John Banks' legacy, if you like," Casey added.

Manurewa-Papakura councillor Calum Penrose said the legacy ban was not a bylaw and council now has no power to regulate animal welfare.

North Shore councillor George Wood agreed.

''We've got to be careful that we don't get involved in extra matters that are not our business, as a council. If we start doing that, well we're on the slippery slope to really getting offside with our communities.

''Our communities are saying to us at the moment 'keep to the knitting, keep to the basic business of council don't get side-tracked into other issues that are not your business'.

''This kind of matter is the kind of area that we cannot go delving into. We have no jurisdiction here.''

The Regulatory and Bylaws Committee voted against taking further action to reinstate the legacy rodeo ban.


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