Horror Sunday for Kaingaroa residents
No consent given for burn-out event
Kaye Dragicevich began complaining about her Kaingaroa neighbour Mark Hassan’s plan to build a burn-out pad when he began excavating without planning approval or neighbours’ consent.
Neighbours had gone to the Far North and Northland Regional councils, and they had warned Mr Hassan, although they could not prosecute him until he began causing noise or air pollution.
“When I complained to [Mr Hassan] he ordered me off his property,” Mrs Dragicevich said. She said February 18 was a “horrible” day.
“For three hours from 1.30pm for three hours we were subjected to loud noise from high-powered motors revved up to the maximum, with modified or no exhausts fitted, screeching tires, to the point where rubber was boiling, backfiring, and some motors actually exploded.
“Thick, dense, white smoke high in toxicity was carried by wind across our paddocks, inside our house and continued across our farm and to the olive orchard on our boundary.
“The smell came inside our house, even though doors and The owners of the Kaingaroa property where a ‘burn-out pad’ and associated buildings have been constructed were told as early as July last year that they might need a resource consent, according to the Far North District Council.
They were also asked to provide details of the structures as part of a resource consent application.
“There is no record of an application being made to the council,” acting general manager district services Darren Edwards said last week.
“The ‘burn-out’ event on Sunday February 18 may windows were closed.
“There were no precautions in place to stop the smoke from drifting on to private land or across SH10. If the had wind changed smoke would easily have impaired visibility for the general public travelling at speeds of up 100km/h.”
The smoke had
caused also have required a resource consent from the council. Again, the property owners were advised of this prior to the event.”
The activity may have breached the district plan due its scale, the number of people who attended and proximity to lakes, rivers and wetlands, Mr Edwards said.
The NZ Transport Agency should also have been consulted in case the event required traffic control measures.
Mr Edwards said the council had received several complaints regarding the event, demonstrating why ongoing respiratory issues for her family, with coughing and headaches.
Their beef cattle had also taken fright, although they were many paddocks away, stampeding backwards and forwards, putting themselves at risk of injury or death.
“We lost a big bullock a few enforceable rules such as those in the district plan and the Resource Management Act were needed.
“These rules are sometimes blamed for stifling the rights of property owners, but, as this incident shows, these rights must be balanced against the rights of other residents and land owners to freely use and enjoy their land,” he said.
The council had issued infringement and abatement notices to both the property owner and the person who had run the event. Anyone who breached an abatement notice could be liable for a $750 fine. years ago, frightened by a police helicopter, which it broke its back when it ran down a steep slope, so we know what could happen again,” she added.
Her husband Paul had tried to calm the cattle, and was eventually able to move them further away, but it took them a full 24 hours to settle down and begin grazing normally.
She had phoned Mr Hassan’s mother, who she believed was the legal owner of the property, asking that a stop be put to the proceedings, and was told that she had been informed this was going to happen. Then she hung up.
Uninvited spectators had parked in their driveway, and when Mrs Dragicevich I asked them to leave they refused, and she was sworn at.
“It was a horrible, horrible day, so stressful.
“Now I see it being promoted on public media and gaining momentum and support,” she added.
Her husband Paul was still suffering the effects of exposure to the smoke for the three hours he spent trying to calm the cattle, and the thought that such events could be ongoing was depressing, she said.
The councils, police and NZTA were all looking at the issue, but social media was attracting “huge” support for the pad, which worried her. *** Mr Hassan was invited to comment but had not done so at edition time yesterday.