Pony club wants access to more of domain land

Last updated 05:00 24/03/2014

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The Tuakau Pony Club hopes to return a national-level cross country competition to the North Waikato area, but first it needs Waikato District Council to increase its grounds.

The club, which is the third biggest in the country and based at the Tuakau Domain, does not have enough space to run a full cross-country course but has now begun the process of applying for access to more of the domain.

President Astrid Lambert made a presentation to the Onewhero-Tuakau Community Board during its March meeting.

The board supported the club's requests to be included in the Tuakau Structure Plan and the Tuakau Domain Reserve Management Plan but there were no guarantees that more land would be made available.

Ms Lambert said the grounds they occupied were far too small.

She said they were only just able to comply with Equestrian Sports New Zealand's training level cross-country track size. "This could be equated to the council providing a tennis court-sized field for rugby on public land and expecting rugby to play on full-sized fields on private land," she said.

She said having a national level event in the north Waikato would be a big boost to the region. "It would be massive for this district because you would have international riders potentially coming in," she said. "Two of the greatest horse trials that were held in the Waikato District, Richfields and Waerenga, are no longer being held. They were on private land and the farmers had had enough."

Ms Lambert said the club paid the council for a lease and that went into the domain fund. While the Tuakau Pony Club received positive responses from the board, it would have to wait for the Tuakau Structure Plan and the Tuakau Domain Reserve Management Plan for any additional land to be allocated to it.

David Totman, Waikato District Council strategic planning project manager, said the Tuakau Domain Reserve Management Plan had been delayed. "It got held up because there is a potential iwi interest in the land but there is no registered claim right now."

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- Waikato Times

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