Car enthusiasts defend gathering as not anti-social

A car enthusiast has disputed claims a gathering in Queenstown over the weekend was in any way anti-social, or that it was held in the middle of the night.

Senior Sergeant Paula Enoka, of Queenstown, told the Otago Daily Times yesterday police attended the "unusual" gathering where about 100 vehicles had parked at the Mitre 10 car park, on the Frankton Flats, between about midnight and 2am on Sunday.

While she said the group was not doing anything illegal, a "small number" of infringements were issued to drivers due to unlawful modifications.

A Queenstown man, who asked not to be named, attended the meet — the fourth of its kind in Queenstown — and said it started at 8pm and was finished by midnight.

He was also frustrated the group of 100-plus car enthusiasts had been tarred by police with a "boy racer" brush.

The group, he said, had no interest in anti-social behaviour and had never caused any issues.

"We’re not into doing burnouts and all that kind of thing.

"We enjoy our cars, we look after our cars.

"For us, we just get together, we all park up, we all chat some ... and look at each other’s cars, because that’s what we like, we have a bit of fun and we go for a drive."

The man said the weekend’s meet incorporated drives to Queenstown and Arrowtown, but a drive to Cromwell was cancelled due to the risk of frost and ice through the Kawarau Gorge.

Those who travelled from Dunedin and Invercargill stayed the night in Queenstown, many of them also bungy jumping, going on the luge and dining out, helping the economy.

"Every single meet we’ve had the police have been there — we’re not trying to hide it.

"Every other meet we’ve had they’ve been there, they’ve been in the background, they’ve been sweet about it, we’ve chatted to them and we’ve had no problems with them.

"This is the first time it’s gone further than it needed to."


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