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Up and Running

Wow - Term Four and we are up and running with rides underway.  So much has happened and we have so many people to acknowledge and thank. The entire breakdown of Kenepuru, the relocation to Battle Hill and the re-establishment of services was, on the face of it, seamless but believe me there was an incredible amount of team effort to making it all look so easy!


The horses all moved on site on the 3rd of October and a huge thank you to Will Cooper, Kate Fleming, Paul Nation (Willowbank Foxtrotters) and Jenny Pyatt for their time, horse floats and truck, enabling us to get them all here in one “load” (see the photos here). The horses are still settling and adjusting to their new home but are happily back in the ride routine and doing a great job. They are currently running as one herd, and while still a bit needy, are definitely enjoying the space and hills.


Building and Resource Consent for the temporary site was issued with minimal drama and I cannot thank Amy Hobbs enough for the incredible time and effort she has put into plans and drawings over the last 12 months on plan A, plan B and plan C! We got there in the end Amy and a personal thank you from me for your help and support in some quite stressful times! Also to Liz Colley for her review of the license and all things legal. So much work is unseen but is crucial to the fuss-free physical relocation and rebuild.


A number of BNZ staff put their hands up to form a team to assist me in developing the project management plan and reporting model in conjunction with communications, marketing and funding plans. This work was critical in the early stages and has guided me throughout the project – thanks Casey, Angela, Heather, Sam, Chris, Mark and Constance. We were also assisted with discounted fees from Oakley Moran (lawyers), Hirepool (port-a-loo), Sonia Dolan (planner), Cirtex (grass reinforcement), Gordies Waste Management (skip-bin), Wildlands (ecologists), Landlink (surveyors) and Cook Costello (engineers).

While the physical relocation from Kenepuru is complete there is still much still in progress at Battle Hill having being hampered by the inconsistent weather! Fencing and water is ongoing at Battle Hill but Richard Iremonger of Rural Contracting Services Ltd and his team are hard at work and we have four paddocks available and the balance in progress. Thanks to the Rural Trading Post for hunting down some great deals on our fencing and their ongoing support. The horses are certainly appreciating the grass which is much better that that at Kenepuru! Luckily they are grazing on hills to help in the weight management department!


The distance to the paddocks meant an investment in a Polaris Ranger to make our volunteers lives a little bit easier. Jim at Sargent Motors Carterton has really looked after us and a huge thanks to Trust House for providing the funds for its purchase and a significant contribution towards our fencing costs. Our volunteers have had training on how to safely operate the Polaris and had a fun couple of days training with Steve Grey of Training Ventures Ltd.


Daniel Renshaw is busy levelling the homestead paddock for the arena and has been majorly delayed with weather but he is up there whenever he can be and progress is being made. In the meantime we operate out of Plan B – the front paddock and the riders have been loving exploring the park and meeting its resident sheep, cows, deer, ducks and eels!

The office and clubrooms are all set up and we have had only positive feed back from our volunteers and riders about the new site. Jill Reti loves her new office space and we no longer keep banging into each other when both at our computers! Thanks to Myles Reti for his patience with our total lack of IT knowledge as he set up our new computers and software at Battle Hill, only slightly hindered by mine and Jill's inability to follow instructions! The clubrooms has a very rustic appeal and is all unpacked and fully operational if only we could remember where we put everything… hmmmm...


The team from GWRC have made us very welcome and we appreciate their interest in and appreciation of our service. Wayne, Amanda, and Fiona have all worked incredibly hard to make this work from the Council's end and Joby the on-site Ranger came back from leave to find us all on site and up and running! A great change from when he left. We look forward to working alongside Joby and his team.


Kenepuru is a bare site. Peter Rutland and Tony Stratford have done an amazing job organising the deconstruction and transportation to Battle Hill of anything and everything that can be recycled on the new site. All at no cost to WRDA – an incredibly generous donation of both their time and resources and by the looks of it many a favour has been called in and taken up by a number of their colleagues which just shows the high regard the wider community has for our group and the work we do. Thanks to Webster Drilling, Tony McEwan at Rough Terrain and Stratford Electrical for their trucks and time. The team at Corrections Community Service at Porirua did an incredible job of de-nailing and stacking all the arena and yard timber for transporting to Battle Hill. Whatever couldn’t be used on our temporary site was sold on Trade Me and all funds will go into the rebuild at Battle Hill.


Still busy times ahead while we continue the process for public consultation on our proposed permanent site and the applications for funding and consent and complete the temporary arena, tie-ups and mounting area.


Finally, I would like to thank WRDA staff members Jill Reti and Claire Hagan for their ongoing enthusiasm and support during the relocation and also senior volunteer Sarah Piper for always saying yes when we needed something done on the ground and had run out of hands to do it! Could I please ask you to support those who have supported us during this monumental milestone in the history of Wellington Group Riding for the Disabled. They all played their part in ensuring the long term future of our Group.


If you have any questions or comments on the project please don’t hesitate to contact me on 027 235 8702 or on, with attn. Donna in the subject line.




Row 1 Left: Riding out at Battle Hill                                                              

Row 1 Right: Tonka reading up on his new home

Row 2 Left: Donna and Claire side by side in the side by side          

Row 2 Right: Daniel Renshaw building our temporary arena

Row 3: Donna and Jill jammed up in Kenepuru

Row 4: Peter Rutland (L) and Tony Stratford (R) planning the move.

Up and Running

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