'Take some bloody responsibility': Angry Patrick Gower confronts rodeo advocate

Patrick Gower has locked horns with the President of Wanaka Rodeo Club on live TV, confronting him over his insistence on labelling animal deaths "accidents".

Lyall Cocks appeared on Three's The Project after a horse died during a North Canterbury rodeo over the weekend - the fourth animal death this season.

Mr Cocks says rodeo officials do enough to ensure that animals are safe, and that the deaths of the animals were simply "accidental" - an assessment that riled Gower.

"Lyall, I just want to hit you up about this word you're using: 'accidental'. Look, there's been four deaths this summer - three horses and a bull," he began.

"That's not an accident, Lyall, that's a pattern."

After protestations from Mr Cocks, Gower let rip again.

"Lyall, it's a pattern, and I'm asking you to step up and take some bloody responsibility for the deaths of these animals."

Mr Cocks appeared shell-shocked by that blunt takedown, but gathered himself to claim that the industry did take enough responsibility.

"Hey, rodeo people care for animals more than nearly anyone in New Zealand," Mr Cocks said. "Horse racing's had a lot more accidents than we have."

After the interview with Mr Cocks, Gower clarified that he's "not actually anti-rodeo", but that there are questions over animal welfare that the Government need to look into.

He says with New Zealand First expressing their support for the rodeo community, the buck stops with the Greens, who are staunchly anti-rodeo - and particularly MP Gareth Hughes.

"The Greens are failing, here, to do anything about it - they're sitting on their hands and are complicit in the blood spilt by doing nothing."