Outbreak of tyre-slashing in parking feud around Wellington Airport
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.
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.
* 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.
"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.
"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.
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.
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".
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".