Outbreak of tyre-slashing in parking feud around Wellington Airport

It isn't the first time cars parked near Wellington Airport have had tyres punctured with several incidents reported in ...
HOWARD RAIT

It isn't the first time cars parked near Wellington Airport have had tyres punctured with several incidents reported in December 2016.

A long-running parking feud between residents and Wellington Airport users has escalated, with 10 reports of car tyres being slashed or punctured in the past 10 days.

Residents in and around Kauri St, in the southern suburb of Miramar, have been complaining for years about airport users parking in their streets for free instead of paying for airport parks.

Some have placed illegal fences and concrete blocks outside their homes in an effort to stop people ditching their cars for weeks or months in the free parks, then walking to the airport.

Not all of the cars that have been vandalised belong to airport-goers. Some residents have been the victims of the ...
HOWARD RAIT

Not all of the cars that have been vandalised belong to airport-goers. Some residents have been the victims of the vandalism too.

But in recent months, many believe a parking vigilante has resorted to slashing and puncturing tyres – often of cars belonging to residents, as well as airport users.

READ MORE:
Vigilante fears as tyres slashed near Wellington Airport
Wellington Airport parking stoush may finally have a solution
Residents hit back at 'freeloading' airport parkers with makeshift fences
Paying residents' parking an option for Wellington Airport to ease Miramar tensions

In October, residents reported 25 cases of tyre-slashing in or near Kauri St. Now police say they received 10 reports of damage to vehicles in Kauri St,  in the 10 days between November 26 and December 5.

Plenty of residents have resorted to putting wooden stakes and concrete blocks in the ground to mark their territory.
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

Plenty of residents have resorted to putting wooden stakes and concrete blocks in the ground to mark their territory.

"In each case, victims have reported that tyres have either been punctured or slashed," a police spokeswoman said.

Police sent a letter to residents on Monday, confirming they were investigating the "high number" of incidents.

Kauri St resident Howard Rait recently discovered a hole in his tyres, and said his daughter's car tyres were punctured in October.

A makeshift wire fence on Kedah St, Miramar, keeps airport users at bay. Across the road there is no such protection.
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

A makeshift wire fence on Kedah St, Miramar, keeps airport users at bay. Across the road there is no such protection.

"I have noticed over the last few months there have been sessions [of it], but it is just getting more and more often," Rait said.

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Residents accuse Wellington City Council of failing to act, or to consult with the community.

In 2013, cyclist Alan Cecil Robieson, 65, died after hitting a low wire fence erected by a resident on a grass berm.

Miramar residents complain that airport users treat their suburban streets as free car parks, often leaving their ...
CAMERON BURNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

Miramar residents complain that airport users treat their suburban streets as free car parks, often leaving their vehicles for weeks or months at a time.

Coroner Carla na Nagara investigated the death and, last year, criticised the council's "indifference" to solving the parking pressures in Miramar.

The council said in July that it was about to begin a trial of using marker posts to highlight what was a park and what was a private driveway. 

Council transport, strategy and operations portfolio leader Chris Calvi-Freeman said he was "sympathetic" to residents' concerns, and that the parking issue was a "festering sore".

Kauri St resident Howard Rait said Wellington City Council had not consulted the community over any plans to tackle the ...
MAARTEN HOLL/ FAIRFAX NZ

Kauri St resident Howard Rait said Wellington City Council had not consulted the community over any plans to tackle the parking problem.

The council had not made any contact with residents about the tyre-slashing, but community consultation would be held in late January, he said. He planned to meet police to discuss the matter on Thursday.

He had been in talks with Wellington Airport management about the problem, and he hoped it would "support the council in any solution we run through with the residents".

 - Stuff

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