The deafening noise from screaming engines and choking on billowing smoke from burnt rubber are a Far North couple's new Sunday experience.

Kaye Dragicevich began complaining about her Kaingaroa neighbour Mark Hassan's plan to build a burn-out pad when he began excavating without planning approval or neighbours' consent.

Neighbours had gone to the Far North and Northland Regional councils, and warned Hassan, although they could not prosecute him until he began causing noise or air pollution.

Kaye Dragicevich is unhappy her neighbour was able to build a burnout pad on his property without consent.
Kaye Dragicevich is unhappy her neighbour was able to build a burnout pad on his property without consent.

"When I complained to [Hassan] he ordered me off his property," Dragicevich said. She said February 18 was a "horrible" day.


"For three hours from 1.30pm we were subjected to loud noise from high-powered motors revved up to the maximum, with modified or no exhausts fitted, screeching tyres, to the point where rubber was boiling, backfiring, and some motors actually exploded.

"Thick, dense, white smoke high in toxicity was carried by wind across our paddocks, inside our house and continued across our farm and to the olive orchard on our boundary.

"The smell came inside our house, even though doors and windows were closed.

"There were no precautions in place to stop the smoke from drifting onto private land or across SH10. If the had wind changed smoke would easily have impaired visibility for the general public travelling at speeds of up 100km/h."

The smoke had caused ongoing respiratory issues for her family, with coughing and headaches.

Their beef cattle had also taken fright, although they were many paddocks away, stampeding backwards and forwards, putting themselves at risk of injury or death.

"We lost a big bullock a few years ago, frightened by a police helicopter, which broke its back when it ran down a steep slope, so we know what could happen again," she added.

Her husband Paul had tried to calm the cattle, and was eventually able to move them further away, but it took them a full 24 hours to settle down and begin grazing normally.

She had phoned Hassan's mother, who she believed was the legal owner of the property, asking that a stop be put to the proceedings, and was told that she had been informed this was going to happen. Then she hung up.

Uninvited spectators had parked in their driveway, and when Kaye Dragicevich asked them to leave they refused, and she was sworn at.

"It was a horrible, horrible day, so stressful.

"Now I see it being promoted on public media and gaining momentum and support," she added.

Her husband was still suffering the effects of exposure to the smoke for the three hours he spent trying to calm the cattle, and the thought that such events could be ongoing was depressing, she said.

The councils, police and NZTA were all looking at the issue, but social media was attracting "huge" support for the pad, which worried her.

Hassan has been invited to comment.