Horse trekkers warned for trespassing

Last updated 12:49 28/04/2009

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Three men trekking by horse through the Molesworth Station have been warned for trespassing after unlawfully dossing down in a farm building last week.

Station manager Jim Ward said the men had taken over the Tarndale mustering quarters without permission. "This just blows my mind away. I still can't come to terms with it. This is not access, it's arrogance."

The Marlborough Express understands the men are Stephen McGrath, of Newton Livery farm west of Murchison, and his two friends, Jim Hilton and Sol Clement.

The trio were on a horse trek through the Buller Gorge, Wairau and Awatere Valleys, through the Molesworth and St James stations, then back to Murchison.

Mr McGrath was travelling on horse and cart, with the other two on horseback.

Mr Ward said he received a letter from Mr McGrath after he had left on his trek, so he had no way of making contact. He said he would not have denied the men access, but would have told them it was mustering season.

Despite the road being closed since March for farming activities, the men were allowed through to St James station and on to Rainbow.

The next time Mr Ward heard from them, they had gone through a locked gate and were in the Tarndale mustering quarters.

Mr Ward warned the men they were trespassing and police were called.

Blenheim police senior sergeant Ciaran Sloan said the three men had been issued with warnings for unlawfully being on the property and in a building. Police also confiscated a .22 rifle.

They had since moved off the station, he said.

Mr Ward said the 3000 to 4000 people who travelled through Molesworth every summer usually caused few problems.

He said the station loved having visitors through, but cases such as the horse trekkers showed it was important it was well-managed.

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- The Marlborough Express

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