The drivers and occupants of hundreds of vehicles queued for
up to three hours to load their vehicles and trailers with
cut-price radiata pine firewood at a Wenita Forest Products
fundraising event at Mt Allan yesterday.
However, for a few the loads ended up being expensive as
Dunedin police issued some drivers tickets for using
unwarranted and unlicensed trailers and gave others with
recently expired paperwork a chance to get it sorted.
Officer in charge of the strategic traffic unit Sgt Tania
Baron said police received calls from people concerned about
unsafe vehicles travelling to and from Mt Allan, and a minor
single vehicle incident about 9.30am on Mt Allan Rd, possibly
due to brake problems.
A checkpoint was set up at the base of Mt Allan Rd and more
than 50 vehicles inspected for overloading and safety.
Thirteen infringement notices were issued, with fines of $200
for unwarranted trailers and $100 for unlicensed trailers.
''It's a bit disappointing. The worst I saw was a trailer
with a warrant which ran out in 2009,'' Sgt Baron said.
Wenita Commercial manager Anne Horsewood said about $5000 was
raised for the Otago Regional Rescue Helicopter service, with
the last vehicle loaded up about 4.30pm.
''People have donated extra for the cause and because they're
thankful to be able to get firewood. We're chuffed at the
The day would not have been possible without Wenita staff and
contractors giving up their time to chop the wood, which was
waste product from its processing plant, and helping on the
day, she said.
Wenita would try to run the event on an annual basis, she
Otago Helicopters managing director Graeme Gale said it was
an ''unbelievable'' response with vehicles continuously
arriving to fill up after the gates opened at 8am.
''The support's fantastic.''