Safe says it won't be picketing Saturday's Wairoa Rodeo, but organisers say the animal welfare lobby group won't find anything to be upset about even if it does.

Rodeos have been in the glare of animal activists over the past year, with four known rodeo-related animal deaths in 2018.

A bull and a horse died at the Gisborne event, a horse died at a Methven rodeo in October, and a bull was killed at a Martinborough rodeo in February.

President of the Wairoa Rodeo Club Ash O'Connor said Wairoa's event was always under close scrutiny, but had a good record.


"The New Zealand Government comes around and has people checking over our yards beforehand, the MPI are there and we always have a vet on site too," he said.

Part of the A & P Show, O'Connor said the rodeo had always been a popular event among locals, with competitors from as far as Kaitaia and Invercargill.

"The rodeo's been going since the late 40s or early 50s. I love it because I used to rodeo. If you're interested in horses it's pretty cool and it's a family event as well."

A spokesperson from Safe said no one from the organisation would be attending the Wairoa Rodeo.

"There may well be other people there observing and attempting to film the treatment of animals," she said.

"There have been many rodeos that have banned filming over the last two seasons, including last weekend's Mid Northern Rodeo – where people were assaulted by rodeo supporters - because they know that animal-loving Kiwis don't want to see animals being tormented."

O'Connor did not comment on the issue of high resolution filming, but said if organisers noticed anything out of the ordinary when it came to camera technology they would address the person involved.

"If we think something's going on we'll just go and speak to them," he said.


The rodeo will take place on January 19, at the Wairoa A & P Showgrounds.