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'Anti-social behaviour': Trail bike riders pictured illegally riding on privately-owned land leased by Soho Property Ltd

By LUCY WORMALD

Trail bikers are allegedly responsible for damage caused to privately-owned land leased
by Soho Property Ltd.

Areas of Coronet Peak Station, protected by a Mahu Whenua covenant, are seeing frequent incursions by trail bikers who are ignoring signs, riding up creeks, cutting scrub, and damaging tracks designed for walking and cycling, Soho Property rep Jo Booker says.

‘‘They’re riding in places that are incredibly [ecologically] fragile, and will take years and
years and years to recover from the damage that’s being done.

‘‘They’re big heavy bikes and these tracks are not built to cope with that … it’s really quite anti-social behaviour.’’

Booker says bikers are access ing the property from both the Branches and Macetown ends, but anybody taking trail bikes up there is doing so illegally.

‘‘If you drive up Skippers Road, on both sides on the road, all of the land is DoC  [Department of Conservation] public land, or private pastoral lease, or private land, so there is nowhere up there that trail bikers are legally allowed to ride.’’

Booker says they have consulted Queenstown’s council, DoC and police on the issue, and are looking to prosecute if the behaviour doesn’t stop.

‘‘The landowner has been incredibly generous with his access to the general community
and we would just like to see that respected.’’

Council media man Sam White says Mahu Whenua Tracks Advisory Council, to which council is a partner, is considering signs and a public awareness campaign to mitigate the issue.

lucy.wormald@scene.co.nz