Hardy fans' futile wait for Top Gear stars

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Jeremy Clarkson and James May at Auckland Airport. They are set to film on Ninety Mile Beach. Photo / One News
Jeremy Clarkson and James May at Auckland Airport. They are set to film on Ninety Mile Beach. Photo / One News

A few hardy Top Gear fans were still waiting on 90 Mile Beach late yesterday in the hope of seeing stars of the hit BBC series.

Filming was expected to take place yesterday between the permitted time for the beach's closure - noon to 5pm.

However, at 5.30pm there was no sign of a vehicle, or Top Gear stars.

Empty buses on the beach looked promising, and observers speculated they may be used as mobile barriers to close the beach. However, the bus drivers told onlookers that they were doing nothing more than "testing" and fans and reporters were left none the wiser.

Having the show (eventually) film on 90 Mile Beach will expose the region to more than 200 countries, and could be be worth millions of dollars to the Northland economy.

The Far North district council granted consent for the filming without consulting all iwi along the beach, sparking some to complain, but all parties are reportedly happy after bridge-building by the council. Five iwi - Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri, Ngai Takoto, Ngati Kuri, and Ngati Kahu - have custodianship over the beach, but the council approached only Ngati Kuri for permission.

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