Western Bay of Plenty residents upset with a proposal to restrict access to Tuapiro Point will stage a protest against the plan, on horseback.
Horse riders plan to ride from the Tauranga Racecourse to the Western Bay of Plenty District Council offices next week to deliver a petition against a proposed bylaw which would ban horses at Tuapiro Point, north of Katikati.
Recreational Horse Riders BOP group spokesperson Lisa Coulson said about 12 riders would take part. The group had collected more than 500 signatures of support.
The council is proposing a change to its Draft Reserves and Facilities Bylaw 2018 that will remove Tuapiro Point as a permitted site for horse riding.
The group argues the change would leave them with no suitable safe alternative place to take their horses in the area.
Many riders and other members of the community who enjoyed seeing horses at Tuapiro have made submissions.
Some will speak in support of their submissions at a hearing in Katikati on August 6.
Earlier this year, the council's policy committee adopted the draft Reserves and Facilities Bylaw for consultation between May and July.
The seven-week consultation period ran in conjunction with consultation on the Draft Katikati/Waihi Beach Reserve Management Plan, and Tuapiro Point is included in this plan.
In 2005, the council did not permit horses on any reserves or beach/foreshore areas.
This was amended in 2009 following a petition seeking to provide dispensation to allow horse riding at Tuapiro Point.
The 2012 draft bylaw again did not permit horses on reserves or beach/foreshore areas but, as an outcome of the consultation, horses were allowed in specified areas with conditions of this use.
The current bylaw identifies where horses can go and requires the removal of horse waste to protect significant cultural and ecological values at Tuapiro.
Council group manager policy planning and regularly services Rachael Davie said by undertaking the bylaw review the policy committee would consider all written and verbal submissions, as well as informal feedback from the open days.
"No decisions have been made and a seven-week consultation period has recently closed," Davie said.
After hearing all the verbal submissions, the committee will make its decisions at a meeting on September 27.
The council has already received 597 submissions to its 2018 draft bylaw; some included petitions.
Of those 96 per cent opposed the proposed bylaw.
More than 100 indicated they wish to speak to their submission.