OPINION: Four animal deaths in rodeos this summer are four deaths too many. The Government must act.
And newsflash: the Green Party is part of that Government. They need to stop complaining about rodeo, and actually do something about it.
I am frankly disgusted by Gareth Hughes appearing on The Project last night blathering on about having a Private Member's Bill against rodeo. First it has to drawn from a ballot, then it has to be passed.
- Deaths spark renewed fight against rodeos
- 'Take some bloody responsibility': Patrick Gower confronts rodeo advocate
- Shocking footage shows bull dislocate leg during rodeo
Even Hughes knows full-well this Bill doesn't have a hope in hell, because New Zealand First are pro-rodeo.
I know this because I was at the Wanaka Rodeo when the Minister-for-Rodeo Ron Mark rode a horse out and told 10,000 cowboys and cowgirls they had their Government's support.
Ron Mark was real talk; Mr Hughes is just meaningless talk.
Ron Mark stands up for rodeo in the Governnment. Meanwhile, Gareth Hughes stands by when it comes to rodeo - he sits there and props up a Government that refuses to do anything about rodeo.
Mr Hughes, James Shaw and Eugenie Sage are actually letting animals down.
I know they will say "we can"t win everything" - but these are actual animals that are dying right now.
And before you say "Paddy is anti rodeo" - I'm not. I am willing to give some credence to the Kiwis involved with rodeo that it is all good (I went to the rodeo - there were plenty of good buggers there, but honestly I got a bit of a shock at what was happening).
But each summer we have an argument with the animal rights on one side and the cowboys on the other.
What would be prudent is an independent inquiry into the rodeo season, run like a racing integrity unit with some veterinary experience. They could do a robust independent report and really come up with a ongoing solution.
That is what a responsible Government would do, and that is the very least the Greens should be standing up and pushing for.
But the Greens are missing in action when it comes to our rodeo deaths - and worse still, pretending they aren't.
Patrick Gower is Newshub's national correspondent