Stock fears at hill climb rally

An objection has been lodged against a proposed temporary road closure for a motorsport event in the Rotorua Hinterland on Sunday, September 8.

The objector claims that in the past, a motor sport has caused animals to run amok along with untoward environmental habits by those associated with such events.

At its final full meeting of the current term on Thursday August 22, the Rotorua Lakes Council is expected to approve the temporary closure of the road for Motorsport Bay of Plenty’s Tarmac Hill Climb.

While it has one objection to consider, another husband and wife submitter approve the staging of the event, saying they would like to watch the fun.

A letter by Winston Fleming, a well-known farmer in the Kaharoa district with which his family has been linked since 1934, has concerns mainly for his livestock.

His reasons include:

■That he was in a head-on crash on Penny Road by a person on the wrong side of the road (though Winston does not say if his occurred during a rally).

■He had financial losses because rally cars in the past had spooked his stock – a hind was found in a fence dead with a broken leg; a trophy stag charged into a fence and broke off another antler.

■Food scraps had been thrown into a paddock.

■A car hit a bank and rolled by Winston’s house. When the car was placed onto a trailer, the crash area was left untidy with broken glass and “bits of grille”.

■They had failed as promise to drive in an orderly manner.

■He runs a firewood business. “If the road is closed for a car rally m business can’t operate; most of my sales are in the weekends”.

■Rally events cause bad driving habits by their followers.

■A recent rally led to “huge” burnouts outside Kaharoa School within two days.

An email from Chris and Kathy Griffin says they have no problems with the running of the event.

“It is just one day and to be honest we hope it is a nice day so we can sit on our hill and watch the fun,” the pair says in their submission.

“Our stock will not be affected and we will have our domestic animals safely out of the way.”

The area covered is from Penny Road (from Te Waerenga to Kaharoa Road) and Kaharoa Road (from 200mtrs before Penny Road to the end of the sealed road).

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