Hawke’s Bay Area Council adds extra oversight after 4×4 vehicles wreak havoc on stopbank

Three 4×4 vehicles rolled through a river gate and caused over $1,000 in damage to a bank stop at Tennant Rd. Photo/Supplied

The Hawke’s Bay Area Council has put in place extra surveillance after three 4×4 vehicles drove through a river gate and caused more than $1,000 in damage to a bank stop.

Senior Ranger Mark Brinsdon said council received photos of the incident on Monday, where the occupants of the vehicles drove through a river gate at Tennant Rd with a grinder and drove around the embankment.

“There was moderate damage to the stop bench which will cost approximately $800 to repair. The grass bank was turned to mud and the locked front door was opened with a grinder. The door repairs will cost $250.”

He said the council received a huge response to their call for public information and is now following up with inquiries.

“A formal complaint will be lodged with the police within the next 24 hours. Our team is currently collecting information and evidence.”

He said a court could potentially charge the culprits with willful damage and sustained loss of traction.

If charged and convicted of willful damage, it could result in up to 3 months in jail or a fine of up to $2,000. Summary Offenses Act 1981.

If charged and convicted of sustained loss of traction that does not cause injury or death, it could result in a jail term of up to 3 months or a fine of up to 4,500 $, in accordance with the Land Transport Act 1998.

He said that barricades are unfortunately commonly used as playgrounds for 4×4 vehicles, which compromises their integrity and puts communities at unnecessary risk of flooding during major weather events.

“Additional watch patrols have been added to the area to protect stop banks and educate the community on the importance of stop banks.”

Elna M. Lemons