Queenstown police target modified vehicles in lead-up to Blossom Festival

Southern police and VTNZ checked about 55 modified cars during a police operation in Invercargill on Friday and Saturday.
Martin de Ruyter

Southern police and VTNZ checked about 55 modified cars during a police operation in Invercargill on Friday and Saturday.

Queenstown police joined other Southern District police staff in busting over 50 modified vehicles in Invercargill over the weekend.

Part of the operation was about stopping vehicles with illegal modifications making the annual pilgrimage from Invercargill to Central Otago for the Alexandra Blossom Festival.

Sergeant Chris Brooks, of Queenstown, said the operation targeted illegal modifications to suspension, exhausts, tyres and front guards. Police nabbed about 55 cars and issued them with infringements or ordered them off the road.

Police talk to a car filled with Alexandra Blossom Festival goers in 2010.
Che Baker

Police talk to a car filled with Alexandra Blossom Festival goers in 2010.

"It does affect Central because we have them all coming up," Brooks said.

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VTNZ Invercargill, on the corner of Mersey and Spey Sts, was open until midnight on Friday and Saturday as part of the sting and cars were duly escorted for testing if modifications were suspected, Brooks said.

Police talk to a carload of youngsters during the Alexandra Blossom Festival in 2010.
Emma Dawe

Police talk to a carload of youngsters during the Alexandra Blossom Festival in 2010.

VTNZ Invercargill assistant manager Mike McGearty said most of the modifications had been done by the owners themselves and were "very" dangerous.

"They are basically a bomb ready to off," he said. "Things could go wrong in a great big hurry."

Most of the drivers escorted to VTNZ by police were obliging, McGearty said.

The 60th Alexandra Blossom Festival parade starts at 11.45am on September 24.

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