Antisocial car mayhem harmful for people and businesses

13 Jun 2024, 4:29 PM

Kāpiti Coast District Mayor Janet Holborow says recent boy racer mayhem in Ōtaki is unacceptable and the “car enthusiasts” involved are not welcome in the community. 

When a mass gathering of boy racers migrated from Levin to Ōtaki on 3 June they not only used Miro St as a burn out pad but graffitied local businesses, damaged property, and intimidated community members. 

Mayor Holborow says staff and elected representatives have met with the Ōtaki business community and those directly impacted to hear their concerns and discuss Council’s role in preventing these kinds of events in future. 

“This is first and foremost a Police matter, and I along with Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden will be writing to the Minister of Police to express our concerns about resourcing in provincial New Zealand. 

“The lack of cops in less urban communities extends beyond recent events and we’d like to see this addressed.” 

In the days since 3 June several drivers have reportedly returned to the area to continue the behaviour. 

“This is horrible and goes well beyond thrill seeking or being a rebel,” Mayor Holborow says. 

“We’ve had mass boy racer events in Kāpiti over the years – including in our cemeteries – but this was one of the worst we’ve seen. 

“The financial and emotional impacts on people and businesses are significant.  

“Throwing rocks at the Police, damaging property and putting the community at risk is reprehensible.

“I ask those responsible for this behaviour to consider the impact of their actions on others. Sadly, given the attitudes on display I know this message will probably fall on deaf ears.”  

Ōtaki Community Board Chair Cam Butler says the Ōtaki business community is resilient and supportive of one another. 

“They’re rallying around and getting on with it. But this sort of thing is an unnecessary stress and cost at a time when life is hard enough,” Mr Butler says. 

“If you see this sort of behaviour taking place, or hear about plans for these events, please contact Police in the first instance. Please do not put yourself in any danger.”