by Chris Tobin
Residents near Hanging Rock, near Pleasant Point, are fed up with hoons doing burnouts and leaving rubbish at their picnic reserve.
Their ire was piqued by what happened on the evenings of Friday, November 15, and Saturday, November 16, when boy racers turned up at the Hanging Rock picnic reserve.
“There were an estimated 30 boy racer cars out at the reserve on the Friday night at approximately 10pm,” local resident Lucy Martin said.
“On the Saturday night there were 200 to 300 cars in and around the reserve at approximately 11.45pm for an hour when fireworks and firecrackers were also let off.”
She thought the large number could have been the result of the 4 & Rotary South Island Champs being hosted in Timaru that weekend, which drew up to 4000 visitors with their modified vehicles.
The 4 & Rotary South Island Champs organiser Azhar Bhamji said the official cruise started from Caroline Bay, accompanied by police, and went to Pleasant Point, but not to Hanging Rock .
He and a few friends went and cleaned up rubbish after the cruise.
“We can’t control the people who come back to these remote areas and have a gathering outside of our cruising times.
“I’m very sorry to know this and to be notified two weeks after the event.
“I would have done more if I would have been told earlier as I always respect the venues and the locals to our best ability.
“I will put in a more extensive plan for future events and address this in a different manner.”
People came from all over the South Island and he “could not control what people did in their own time”.
On the Sunday morning, Mrs Martin and her husband collected two sacks worth of empty bottles, cans, discarded takeaway bags and firework wrappers left behind.
“Sadly this was a direct negative result of some of these cars being out on their two cruise nights.”
She said roads in the area had been left littered with cans, bottles, beer boxes and food wrappers and also had burnout marks.
“Aside from the late-night disturbance, the litter left within the reserve and on local roads was disgraceful and appalling.