Abandoned car ruins tourist town’s appeal
Smashed-up cars can lie abandoned on the side of the road for weeks before any government authority will take action.
Just ask Matamata’s Kevin Buckley.
He watched a car that crashed between Christmas and New Year sit beside the ‘‘Welcome to Matamata’’ sign for nearly three weeks before he got so fed up he had it towed himself.
After sitting for a couple of weeks on a patch of grass within the town boundary by State Highway 27, he noticed the tyres had disappeared.
Then, a day later, he noticed that the number plates had gone.
‘‘After that, the windows are smashed up and they’re set on fire.
‘‘That’s what always happens,’’ Buckley said.
Buckley did not want people thinking poorly of his town - especially during peak tourist season. With Hobbiton close by, Matamata the side of the road and the busloads of tourists owner could contact him to days. get it back.
So he decided enough was ‘‘The police said I would be enough and it was time to sort doing them a favour. I was the out the matter. third person that day who had
First he called Matamatacalled them about it.’’ Piako District Council, where He had it towed it to his he was told it was a New Zeaproperty, where it still sits. land Transport Agency matThe father of the car owner, ter, as the car was on a state who presumably got his highway. details from police, Buckley
So Buckley called NZTA, said, called him that afterwhich told him it was a counnoon and washed his hands of cil matter. the car.
When he further explained ‘‘There is no responsibility he had already spoken to the by vehicle owners. It should council, the government be compulsory to have organisation gave Buckley a insurance, because if the car reference number and said was insured, the insurance that now the matter was company would have towed reported, the car owner had a the car.‘‘ further nine working days to Matamata-Piako District remove the car before the Council spokesman Eion agency could act. Scott said in this instance, the
That would mean the car onus lay at the feet of NZTA. would be sitting there for over As it was a state highway a month, so an exasperated that the crashed car sat on, it Buckley got on the phone to was an NZTA issue, despite the police. being within the town boun
He asked the cops if he dary. could move it to his property NZTA did not respond to at his own cost just to get it off several calls. sees most