Members of the public from across Wairarapa are invited to a meeting about “the organised masses of cars congregating and behaving anti-socially in our district”.
The public forum is being held at 6pm this Thursday [January 11] at the Gladstone Sports and Social Complex at 585 Gladstone Rd, and is being facilitated by former Carterton mayor Greg Lang.
Local MP Mike Butterick and area police commander Scott Miller will also be in attendance to field concerns from the community.
The latest incident of massed motorised mayhem occurred over the evening of December 30 and the small hours of December 31, when up to 300 vehicles – mainly from the Hutt and Palmerston North, but also involving some locals – ripped up rural roads including Longbush, Millars, and Admiral roads, before proceeding to the new roundabout at the intersection of State Highway 2 and East Taratahi and Wiltons roads, where they did
burnouts for about 90 minutes.
Lang said that he was asked to run the meeting and keep it constructive.
“Like driving a car, we must always be looking through the front windscreen and not in the rearview mirror. We must look to the future, occasionally talking about the past.”
Lang said he had also contacted the region’s mayors
to invite them to the event.
“Carterton Mayor Ron Mark has accepted his invite and has previously talked with a former police minister about this issue. I haven’t received anything from the other mayors, but I hope if they can’t attend, other constituents will take their place.” The public forum will focus primarily on the organised boy racer groups that cause havoc in the area.
Lang said that he has spoken with a young local woman who has been directly affected by the recurring anti-social behaviour.
“She spends her holidays working at a restaurant and as a result works late nights. She finds that she has to take a long, cumbersome route to avoid the troublemakers. This is frustrating and annoying.”
According to Lang, this is a well-organised group that plans large meetups in advance.
“While we know their group messages aren’t encrypted, we still have great difficulty in finding where they communicate,” he said.
While all Wairarapa residents are encouraged to attend the meeting, they’re also asked to keep their contributions at the forum calm and respectful.
“I want to see as many people as possible, but we do need to ensure that the meeting stays constructive and moves forward.”
Lang hopes the streets of Wairarapa can become “skid free”.