11 Mar 2013

Fears Top Gear beach stunt will attract hoons

6:12 am on 11 March 2013

Opposition is growing to the Far North District Council's decision to allow British TV show Top Gear to race a car along 90 Mile Beach.

BBC camera crews were being welcomed at a powhiri at Roma Marae in Ahipara on Sunday and filming begins next week.

The council granted the show permission to close a stretch of the beach, Te Oneroa-a-Tohe, for about an hour to film a car reaching high speeds on the sand.

The council has already apologised to local iwi after failing to consult all tribes and some residents are feeling left out too.

Brian Farrant from Ahipara says residents have been fighting to stop hoons on the beach for years and believes that this kind of attention will send the wrong message.

"We feel that if you see speed activities being portrayed it's going to indicate to people that's what you come here to do."

Mr Farrant has been in contact with the Ahipara Community Coast Care group and others who are worried about the dotterels that live and nest on the beach.