A Napier resident is disappointed an incident that could have been prevented was only followed up by Police after it was too late.

After a car was dumped on the Napier-Taupo Rd on Friday morning, the resident, who did not wish to be named, called the police concerned it would be torched - only to find a day later his fears had become a reality.

He rang the New Zealand Police's 0800 number and spoke about the vehicle, giving his name, number and the identifying details of the black Nissan.

"I had stressed to her that I wanted something done about it because I didn't want it burnt and of course that is exactly what happened to it," he said. "What more could I have done?"


He said it had never happened so close to home but he regularly saw vehicles left at the side of the road and burnt along the Napier-Taupo Rd.

The car is now a write-off and the tarseal and roadside vegetation is burnt. It now has police tape around it.

They didn't hear the early morning fire and did not know who had extinguished it.

"You worry about your own properties catching fire in that sort of situation. Lucky it didn't get that far. You don't know what fires in the countryside can cause."

"I now want the eyesore removed before it attracts any more attention and gets spread
over the road."

Another car was reported on social media, abandoned on Chatham Rd, Flaxmere for the past week.

A resident said all the wheels had been removed and it was sitting on a single jack at the back. Police tape had been wrapped around the car.

A police spokeswoman said that while there had been a couple of instances of cars being dumped and set on fire in recent weeks, this was not a common occurrence in Hawke's Bay.

"The vast majority of burned out cars are set on fire at the time they are dumped - it is not at all usual for cars to be abandoned, and then set on fire at some later date," she said.

"The people responsible are prosecuted whenever there are lines of inquiry that enable us to identify and charge the offender/s."

She said it was not possible to provide exact numbers for this type of occurrence and prosecution, as the jobs were coded by offence rather than by terms such as "burned out cars" or "abandoned cars".

A Hawke's Bay Regional Council spokesman said as the torched car had been dumped on the side of the road, it fell under the Hastings District Council's jurisdiction.

However, in their jurisdiction of regional parks and river access points, they did see vehicle burn-outs "reasonably regularly".

He said it was always disappointing when people dumped rubbish and cars.

"It is almost impossible for us to prove what has happened."

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said it was not common within their area, but it was still "distressing and disturbing".

"As a car nut I hate to see vehicles set on fire to but secondly there is all sorts of potential for fires to be started in forests and all sorts things, so it is just an irresponsible and stupid act."

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was an extra thing they had to manage.

Vehicle dumping does happen regularly across the region and there is a process that council and NZTA go through if a vehicle has been left in a public space.

She said that process involved identifying the owner and if the car remained unclaimed for up to five days, they would have to remove it. If it gets to this, and if the owner has been identified, they then try and claim back the insurance for having it removed.