Residents furious as cattle wreck gardens at Waima

Group of homeowners want 'high-nuisance' cattle dealt with.

Group of homeowners want 'high-nuisance' cattle dealt with.

Half a dozen cattle that help themselves to gardens, vegetation and fruit trees have brought a group of homeowners in Waima, Tokomaru Bay, to breaking point.

They want the “high-nuisance” cattle dealt with — either contained behind fences, or shot.

The only thing stopping this is an issue of ownership. The cattle are not tagged or marked.

Waima residents say they are coming from Tawhiti Block, a large piece of rural land.

Gisborne District Council (GDC) team leader Ross Hannam has been advised by Tawhiti Block owner that the cattle are wild.

Tawhiti Block has not given permission to muster cattle on the block, he says.

“We don’t have the ability to remove the cattle and charge the landowner.”

Mr Hannam said stock control officers are able to shoot cattle if they are in a safe place to do so, but that created the problem of leaving the carcase to attract wild pigs.

“The neighbouring properties might be able to engage people to muster the cattle out in negotiation with the landowners.”

Tokomaru Bay resident Wayne Rickard says it does not matter who owns them.

“They are wandering stock. Even if they are not wrecking our properties, they should not be on the roads anyway.

Mr Rickard believes it is a council issue because the cattle are coming across council roads and on to his property.

“We have been ringing the council off and on for some time.

“If the cows were coming direct from Tawhiti Block, then that would be an issue between neighbours.

“But they are coming through the bush, crossing council land and on to our property.

“The council for some weird reason does not seem to have any authority — and I don’t know why. If this happened anywhere else, the problem would have been sorted ages ago.”

The problem had been going on for more than three years, he said.

“My son planted fruit trees three years ago and the cows came in and destroyed them. They roam quite freely up and down roads, through sections, constantly grazing.”

Resident Gordon Halley said they had the cattle through their property in the middle of the night.

“Horned bulls, charging around our back door — they’re quite spooky.

“They make a mess of the ground when it’s wet and when it dries it is just about un-walkable.”

Resident Bruce Holm is furious about the issue. He and two other Waima residents attended a public meeting in August, where Tawhiti Block trustees met their concerns about cattle with, “indifference bordering on contempt”, he said.

“They said the boundaries are not contiguous, therefore not their problem. They want to rid the block of deer and pigs but won’t allow shooters on the block to deal to the cattle, citing health and safety problems and difficulty identifying which beasts are the offenders.

“Meanwhile, we still suffer incursions.”

  • Attempts to contact the owner of Tawhiti Block for comment have not been successful.

Half a dozen cattle that help themselves to gardens, vegetation and fruit trees have brought a group of homeowners in Waima, Tokomaru Bay, to breaking point.

They want the “high-nuisance” cattle dealt with — either contained behind fences, or shot.

The only thing stopping this is an issue of ownership. The cattle are not tagged or marked.

Waima residents say they are coming from Tawhiti Block, a large piece of rural land.

Gisborne District Council (GDC) team leader Ross Hannam has been advised by Tawhiti Block owner that the cattle are wild.

Tawhiti Block has not given permission to muster cattle on the block, he says.

“We don’t have the ability to remove the cattle and charge the landowner.”

Mr Hannam said stock control officers are able to shoot cattle if they are in a safe place to do so, but that created the problem of leaving the carcase to attract wild pigs.

“The neighbouring properties might be able to engage people to muster the cattle out in negotiation with the landowners.”

Tokomaru Bay resident Wayne Rickard says it does not matter who owns them.

“They are wandering stock. Even if they are not wrecking our properties, they should not be on the roads anyway.

Mr Rickard believes it is a council issue because the cattle are coming across council roads and on to his property.

“We have been ringing the council off and on for some time.

“If the cows were coming direct from Tawhiti Block, then that would be an issue between neighbours.

“But they are coming through the bush, crossing council land and on to our property.

“The council for some weird reason does not seem to have any authority — and I don’t know why. If this happened anywhere else, the problem would have been sorted ages ago.”

The problem had been going on for more than three years, he said.

“My son planted fruit trees three years ago and the cows came in and destroyed them. They roam quite freely up and down roads, through sections, constantly grazing.”

Resident Gordon Halley said they had the cattle through their property in the middle of the night.

“Horned bulls, charging around our back door — they’re quite spooky.

“They make a mess of the ground when it’s wet and when it dries it is just about un-walkable.”

Resident Bruce Holm is furious about the issue. He and two other Waima residents attended a public meeting in August, where Tawhiti Block trustees met their concerns about cattle with, “indifference bordering on contempt”, he said.

“They said the boundaries are not contiguous, therefore not their problem. They want to rid the block of deer and pigs but won’t allow shooters on the block to deal to the cattle, citing health and safety problems and difficulty identifying which beasts are the offenders.

“Meanwhile, we still suffer incursions.”

  • Attempts to contact the owner of Tawhiti Block for comment have not been successful.
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