Red Cross blocked

Red Cross volunteers and vehicles on a training exercise were blocked by an irate landowner on Otago Peninsula last night.

Police were called to resolve a dispute after a Company Bay resident took umbrage at Red Cross vehicles and volunteers using a private rural road about 9pm.

The Red Cross representatives, in marked vehicles and wearing uniforms, had been taking part in a radio training exercise in remote areas when the incident occurred.

Senior Sergeant Dave Scott, of the Southern District Command Centre, said the group was in a rural area of Company Bay, ''when a landowner has taken exception to this and blocked them in''.

''Police were trying to negotiate with him to try and move his vehicle, so that the Red Cross vehicles can leave.''

The landowner was demanding an apology from those concerned, he said.

Following negotiations, the man had a change of heart about 10.40pm and the volunteers were able to leave the scene.


The Red Cross may not have known (they may have thought the road was public nor private), and if they did they should have asked permission , but blocking them in and have the police called out is over the top, a simple "Excuse me do you realise this is private property and not a public road could you please leave) , and if they didn't then call the cops.

This wasted police resources for something that the day staff could easily have handled if the police were even required.

If he wanted it followed up a call or 5min drive to the local office to by the police the next working day (instead of a drive all the way out to company bay) would have obtained them all the relevant information , what was so urgent he he to stop them leaving and detain them till the police arrived. 

This was a huge over-reaction by the landowner against what was likely an over-sight or misunderstanding from a hugely beneficial organisation , and while possible I find it unlikely that the RC staff would gotten aggressive which would then have needed police right then.  But that fact that he was preventing them leaving indicates they were willing to leave when asked. 

Common courtesy

It was a training exercise not an emergency, so common courtesy would be for the Red Cross to inform the landowner. Mistakes on both sides methinks.

Cross over Land

RC must not have known they were travelling private property, or they would have sought permission. Some services may have authorised access. Of course the reaction was over the top, but the fact is it was not public land.


Being in a rural area it's ironic that the Red Cross is most likely to be the first response to this gentleman if he gets into strife. In Fact it is usually in rural areas they get the most support.

I almost hope he requires the Red Crosses services so he better appreciates what they do, but I wouldn't wish that on anyone.


What a thing to do, with all the good the Red Cross has been doing lately, helping out with flooding, setting up welfare centers to look after displaced people, winter warmer packs in Christchurch.

It really baffles me why someone would want to blockade and treat a Red Cross team like that.  I hope one day he requires the services of the Red Cross and realises what a tremendous organisation they are.

Of course I am slightly biased, as I live in Christchurch and have seen them in action on many an occassion

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