Police confiscate inept driver’s keys


Inept foreign drivers continue to frustrate Queenstown police and fellow motorists – this time driving on the wrong side.

Senior constable Chris Blackford says police received a complaint at 5pm last Saturday about a 23-year-old Chinese national driving partially on the wrong side of the road.

“A four-wheel drive had to pull over and stop to avoid this driver.”

Blackford says police confiscated the keys from the man – driving a Hertz rental car – and stopped him from driving again in New Zealand.

The incident comes just weeks after police joined forces with Destination Queenstown and mayor Vanessa van Uden to urge local drivers and pedestrians to be extra vigilant ahead of the expected summer influx of tourist drivers unfamiliar with local roads and easily distracted by scenery.

In other road dramas, a van driven by a 65-year-old Wakatipu man allegedly overtook on a corner just north of the Devil’s Staircase and collided with an oncoming campervan.

It’s likely charges will follow, Blackford says.

A motorcyclist went flying after colliding with a vehicle turning right into Yewlett Crescent off Frankton Road.

Blackford alleges the driver didn’t see the Queenstown motorbike rider heading towards town and the rider hit the passenger door and pole-vaulted over the car before skidding about five metres down the road.

Injuries to the motorcyclist were unknown – while the driver of the other vehicle is likely to be appear in court next month.

Bit of bar spray

A Kiwi who sprayed soft drink into a Queenstown bouncer’s face was given a warning.

Senior constable Blackford says the 25-year-old male had tried to take a coke into Winnies bar down The Mall last Friday but was denied: “He’s made it fizz into the doorman’s face.”

The man was arrested at about 5am for alleged assault but given a pre-charge warning.

Meanwhile, a man who allegedly got violent when asked to leave Searle Lane’s Barmuda nightspot last Sunday morning remained in police cells on Monday morning.

Blackford says the man punched another twice at 1.36am, after staff asked him to go.

“The offender, who is still in custody because he hasn’t given us his name and address, is described as unco-operative.”

Sex pest denied

Immigration staff at Queenstown Airport turned away a registered sex offender from Australia last Friday.

Police say the man was turned away about 7.30pm.

Ross sentencing soon

Wellington-based David Ross who admitted a $115 million investment fraud that included Wakatipu victims is due to be sentenced tomorrow. Ross pleaded guilty in August.