Car enthusiast groups apologise after Dunedin events

One of the three groups involved in a meeting for street racers in Dunedin has issued a public apology, saying organisers had good intentions but the event got out of hand.

About 500 cars flooded Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium car park on Saturday evening and police received several complaints of racing and burnouts.

Earlier that afternoon, about 20 drivers performed skids and drove at speed at Forbury Park in an episode which left Forbury Park Trotting Club chairman Craig Paddon feeling victimised, after he was promised there would be no hooning.

A serious crash which police linked to the car meet up happened later that night in Herbert.

The event was part of the Reckless Deciples [sic] car club’s Christchurch to Dunedin "Invasion" event, which was co-hosted with the Midnight Crawlers and Fatal Few car clubs.

Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML) chief executive Terry Davies said he was shocked to learn about the event held at Forsyth Barr Stadium and did not know anything about it until earlier this week.

DVML was not asked for permission to use the stadium’s parking lot and he was "pretty p..... off".

"There was no way we were going to support any illegal activity," he said.

No damage was caused to the stadium’s facilities.

His message to those thinking of organising similar events in the future was simple: "Don’t do it — you’re breaking the law."

An administrator from the MidnightCrawlers Official Facebook page said the event organisers had good intentions, but things got out of hand.

The club wanted to promote pro-social behaviour and required cars to be road legal to participate, he said.

An apology post on the page said members who did not follow rules would have their membership stripped, and members had been removed in the past.

A statement attributed to Reckless Deciples spokesman Grant Norman James and club members was posted on Facebook. It called the event a "huge success", bringing together car hobbyists and enthusiasts.

The intention was to "only create positive effects in the greater picture".

The statement denied wrongdoing at the Forbury Park track and said the event at the stadium car park was a "complete success" where people from across the South Island "behaved relatively well".

Efforts were made to collect rubbish and stop people doing skids.



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