A Queenstown cabbie who now heads his New Zealand industry body is looking at legal action against independent cabbies poaching lifts.

Last weekend, which saw 40-plus out-of-town drivers attracted by the crowds here for the Queenstown Marathon, drew matters to a head, says Queenstown Taxis boss Grant Scannell, who’s now president of the Small Passenger Service Association, formerly the NZ Taxi Federation.

‘‘Obviously we’ve got [evidence] to deal with some of these guys ’cos it’s a criminal suit we can actually pull against them.

‘‘We have to make a stance on this.’’

Scannell says the worst example was an out-of-towner who sat outside the Holiday Inn Express hotel, making out to guests waiting for a cab he was from an established local company.

While saying there was still plenty of business for his own drivers last weekend, Scannell says poaching caused ‘‘a lot of dead running for the companies and the legit people — they pull up expecting to pick up their customer and somebody’s taken them’’.

‘‘It’s actually getting worse.’’

Scannell believes it’s too easy for would-be cabbies to get their ‘P’ endorsement and then ply for hire.

In former days, you had to sit an area knowledge test, for example.

‘‘You couldn’t just go and drive in someone else’s town, you couldn’t just cherry-pick around the country, like they are now.’’

[email protected]

- Advertisement -