Kaimanawa horse
Image: Rebecca O'Sullivan | DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


A second DOC Kaimanawa wild horse muster for 2018 has been completed successfully.

Date:  06 June 2018

128 horses have been successfully re-homed following the weekend’s muster from the Waiouru Military Training Area (WMTA).

A total of 175 horses were mustered and re-homed in April this year and the additional 131 horses over the weekend brings the total for 2018 to 306 horses mustered. Out of that, 299 horses have been re-homed. Seven horses were deemed unsuitable for adoption by the veterinarian and had to be euthanised on site due to poor health.

DOC Central Plateau Operations Manager Dave Lumley says the success of this operation relies on key relationships and stakeholders working together. "The Waiouru Military are an example, they are very supportive, providing accommodation and logistical support that we couldn't do without.

"The two re-homing groups, Kaimanawa Heritage Horses and Kaimanawa Wild Horse Protection Society continue to do an amazing job of finding homes for these horses nationwide," Dave says.

The muster is held every two years to manage the herd at the sustainable level of 300 horses within the Waiouru Military Training Area as recommended by the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Advisory Group. This allows horses in the herd to maintain best condition and protects the fragile ecosystems unique to the Moawhango Ecological zone.

The advisory group, which provides advice to DOC on implementing the management plan, comprises representatives from DOC, New Zealand Defence Force, the two horse-homing groups, Ngati Rangi, RNZSPCA, Forest & Bird, NZ Veterinary Association and adjoining landowners.

Background information

The Kaimanawa Horse Management Plan has three core objectives:

  • to ensure the welfare of the horses is dealt with appropriately
  • to promote the sustainability of the natural features and ecosystems of the Moawhango Ecological District, with respect to Kaimanawa wild horse impacts; and
  • to manage the Kaimanawa wild horse herd at a sustainable level.


Dave Lumley, Operations Manager Central Plateau
Email: dlumley@doc.govt.nz

Back to top