Far North town locals fed up with homemade burnout pad's 'screeching tyres' and 'thick, dense smoke'

The construction of a homemade burnout pad in a small Far North town has caused consternation, with some locals less than impressed at hearing "screeching tyres" and exploding motors during their lazy Sunday afternoons.

Mark Hassan is the owner of the aforementioned burnout pad in Kaingaroa, excavating and constructing the petrol head paradise reportedly without consent from his neighbours.

According to the NZ Herald, Mr Hassan's neighbours took their complaints to the Far North and Northland Regional councils, who warned him but were not able to restrict the pad unless it caused noise or air pollution.

On February 18, the burnout pad began doing just that according to Kaingaroa resident Kaye Dragicevich.

"For three hours from 1.30pm we were subjected to loud noise from high-powered motors revved up to the maximum, with modified or no exhausts fitted, screeching tyres, to the point where rubber was boiling, backfiring, and some motors actually exploded.

"Thick, dense, white smoke high in toxicity was carried by wind across our paddocks, inside our house and continued across our farm and to the olive orchard on our boundary.

"The smell came inside our house, even though doors and windows were closed," Ms Dragicevich told the NZ Herald.

The burnout pad proved so popular that uninvited guests had used Ms Dragicevich's driveway as a parking spot so they could attend the event.

"It was a horrible, horrible day, so stressful.

"Now I see it being promoted on public media and gaining momentum and support," she said.

The local councils, police and NZTA are all looking at the complaints, according to the NZ Herald.

1 NEWS has invited other local Kaingaroa residents to comment on the controversial burnout pad.

Meth worth $2.4 million hidden in heavy machinery seized at Auckland Airport

Two people have been charged following the seizure of 13.5kg of methamphetamine worth $2.4 million at Auckland International Airport. 

The drugs were brought into the country concealed within heavy steel machinery.

Over the weekend the National Organised Crime Group executed two search warrants at Waikato addresses and a 22-year-old man was arrested and charged with importation of the Class A controlled drug.

A 48-year-old Auckland woman also faces the same charge.

Both have since appeared in court. 

Police are looking for three others over the seizure and are making inquiries to locate them.

"It is clear that those involved were attempting to test the system to see if this method would get past authorities," says Detective Inspector Paul Newman.

"It didn't work."

Dr Chris Wilkins says the Massey University drug report shows meth is widely used, especially outside of urban centres.
Source: 1 NEWS


Most read story of the week: Aussie bikie gangs target of police's new organised crime taskforce in Tauranga

Note: This story first ran on 1 NEWS on Tuesday, March 13

Also in its sights are Australian bikie gangs with an increasing presence in NZ. Source: 1 NEWS

A new organised crime police taskforce is opening in Tauranga to target the influx of Australian motorcycle gangs to the region.

Police Minister Stuart Nash was in Tauranga to launch the first new branch of the National Organised Crime Group outside of Auckland and Wellington.

A statement released by the New Zealand Police said the taskforce was strategically based in Tauranga to help deal with organised crime, methamphetamine production and importation and asset recovery.

The organised crime taskforce expansion into the Bay of Plenty was largely due to the growing numbers of Australian bikies, particularly the Comancheros and Bandidos, who have been deported from Australia for their past criminal histories and failure of the "good character" legal test.

The encroachment of the long-established Australian chapters of the Comancheros and Bandidos onto Kiwi soil comes after another Australian bikie gang, the Rebels, as well as the Head Hunters, established chapters in Tauranga over the last few years.

"Organised criminals with transnational ties are operating in the region," says Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

The appeal of Tauranga as a base for bikie gangs comes from the presence of the busiest port in the country - and the potential to smuggle large drug quantities through it on container ships.

"Tauranga is an area of growth for New Zealand and good people are setting themselves up in Tauranga," Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers said in anticipation of the opening.

"Organised criminals are too. Being on their back doorstep is the right thing to do."

Making up the new team will be six detectives focusing exclusively on organised crime in the Tauranga region, and reporting back to the larger police base in Wellington.

New Zealand police have for years now warned of the threat deported "Kiwi" gang members, many who have spent the majority of their lives in Australia, would in time strengthen New Zealand gangs and increase their criminal efficiency.