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Dumped car exposes dodgy by law in Hawke's Bay

Author
Newstalk ZB, Hawke's Bay Today,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Thursday, 17 January 2019, 6:29p.m.
Flaxmere residents are delighted to see the back of a rogue car, which has been infuriating the neighbourhood since December 2017. Photo / Duncan Brown

After months of frustration for Flaxmere residents, a rogue and battered car has left the suburb. But residents aren't celebrating just yet.

The black Ford Laser had been working its way around Ayr St, and Lorne Cres, as well as Lorne Pl every seven days since late in 2017 to avoid being towed.

A Hastings District Council spokeswoman said it was informed on Thursday morning, after a Hawke's Bay Today article about the saga, that the owner had moved the car to a "family address in Napier".

A police spokesperson said it was unlikely to be taking action unless the car moved again because it was legal to park an unregistered and unwarranted car on private property.

Hastings councillor for Flaxmere and Hastings Ambassador Henare O'Keefe said, "People power has caused common sense to prevail.

"Let's not have this happen again. Something has to change. We can't have people exploiting the law like that to the detriment of good law abiding citizens."

He told Andrew Dickens that locals have been let down by the law.

"You know we have policy, we have bylaws. To me, it came down to what's morally and ethically the right thing to do."

O'Keefe says that the car is a hazard and should not be on the road.

"I look at it this way - would I want that car parked outside my front yard? No."

He hopes that some minor adjustments are made, but then the issue is how do you police it.  

The council has received multiple complaints from residents about the car but council bylaws require proof a car has been genuinely abandoned before it is allowed to tow or remove it.

Eight-four cars in 2018 met that standard of proof and were towed at the request of council.

An Ayr St resident, who did not wish to be named, said he woke up on Thursday morning to find the car had been moved.

"It is a really mystery job."

However, he is "holding his breath" as to whether they have seen the last of the car.

"I don't know what we will do if it comes back."

A Lorne Cres resident said items of clothing were strewn all over the back seat of the vehicle and a handwritten note had also been put in the front window noting the car was registered and had a Warrant of Fitness.

The council said the note in the car was incorrect.

LISTEN TO HENARE O'KEEFE TALK WITH ANDREW DICKENS ABOVE

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