The slashed tyres of an Airport Shuttles Dunedin van could
indicate a malicious rivalry within the Dunedin taxi
community. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The deliberate slashing of 12 tyres on airport shuttle
vans has raised suspicions about a taxi war in Dunedin.
On arguably his busiest day of the year, the manager of
Airport Shuttles Dunedin awoke to discover all the tyres on
two of his vans with luggage trailers had been slashed
The vehicles were parked in Bowler Ave, Mornington, and were
tampered with about 2am on Saturday, he said.
''A neighbour heard some noise about 2am, but didn't get up
to see what it was.''
The manager, who asked not to be named, had taken almost 300
bookings for Saturday, mostly from tertiary students arriving
in Dunedin to start their first semester.
He believed a rival was behind the wilful damage, which was
''definitely not random''.
No other vehicles in Bowler Ave were touched and the vans had
always been parked in the street without incident, the
''It was a deliberate act to try to get us off the road on
the busiest day of the year. Of course, you can't point the
finger or blame anyone, but you don't have to be a rocket
scientist to figure out a rival is behind it.''
He alerted police and used four spare tyres to get one of the
vans on the road as early as possible.
Other vehicles were dispatched to meet all the Saturday
bookings, so there was no loss of business, but replacing the
tyres would cost about $2500, he said.
Whether the damage was covered by his insurance would be
known this week.
Another Dunedin shuttle operator, who did not want to be
named, said he believed it was ''highly unlikely'' a rival
was responsible for the slashing.
''From our point of view, we work together well with all the
companies at the airport,'' he said.
Senior Sergeant Dave Scott said police would welcome any
information about the incident.