Kapiti Chamber commends police response

Infringement notices were handed out across the country after out of control burnouts in Levin and Otaki
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The Kāpiti Business Chamber has commended local advocacy and the effective Police response following recent anti-social boy racer meet-ups.

Local businesses are breathing a sigh of relief following a weekend of hands-on action from the New Zealand Police, which helped to reduce boy racer activity in Ōtaki.

Many businesses and local residents were left distressed after a 300-strong group of boy racers congregated on Miro Road and displayed aggressive behaviour, vandalism and widespread road damage—with ongoing meet-ups planned, including over Matariki weekend.

Local community leaders demonstrated the value of ‘showing up’ and dedicating their time and connections to addressing a critical issue that continued to severely impact local businesses.

Kāpiti Business Chamber chair Monique Leith addresses a recent gathering of Kāpiti business leaders at The Bond Store in Paraparaumu.

Monique Leith, Chair of Kāpiti Business Chamber, says there were a number of local leaders who worked tirelessly to find a prevention strategy.

“I saw first-hand the destruction and stress that local businesses experienced after the first incident. I could see multiple community members making an incredible effort to try and address the situation. It was a case of bringing all voices together so that we could be stronger and more effective with our conversations and requests. It helped emphasise the need for empathetic, principled leadership.”

Timo Reitnauer of We Love Local

Local business owner Timo Reitnauer of We Love Local says, “It’s been an upsetting situation, and the support certainly made us feel less alone. Knowing that others share your concerns can make a big difference as a small business owner—especially in challenging times like the current economic climate.”

Local MP Tim Costley says the Minister wants to see Police reassert themselves in our communities, and that’s exactly what happened over the weekend. “The best result was stopping the anti-social behaviour we saw a few weeks ago, alongside disrupting the unwelcome and dangerous behaviour Ōtaki locals experienced.”

Ōtaki Community Board Chair Cam Butler says, “It was pleasing to hear that the Police were both locally and nationally planning a large response to further events.”

The collective voice of the affected business owners was very important in getting a response (from the Police and central government), and the soon-to-be-established Ōtaki and Te Horo Business Association will be able to continue this momentum into the future.

A bad look – Police and local business owners voice their concerns over recent illegal street burnouts

Ms Leith says supporting the livelihoods and wellbeing of others is critical right now. “As our business ecosystem expands, it is more important than ever to provide wrap-around support to local businesses and our emerging associations and community groups.”

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