Ad-makers cause 4WD damage to fragile wetland
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA company filming an advertisement for a 4WD vehicle has been criticised by the Otago Conservation Board (OCB) for damaging a fragile high country wetland.
Date: 14 December 2010
A company filming an advertisement for a 4WD vehicle has been criticised by the Otago Conservation Board (OCB) for damaging a fragile high country wetland.
The board heard at its last meeting that a local pilot flying a light aircraft spotted a group filming near Cromwell. He took photographs of the damage caused to the area, showing a 4WD vehicle stuck in a delicate alpine bog that will take 50 years or more to recover. The bog is a fragile ecosystem with a diverse native plant community including sphagnum moss, numerous sedges and tiny wetland herbs as well as distinctive wetland invertebrates.
OCB deputy chairperson Dr Abby Smith said, “The irresponsible behaviour of this motor vehicle company to glorify 4WD misuse in order to sell more cars is absolutely unacceptable. Similar 4WD advertising in NZ media should be discouraged. Although the NZ Advertising Standards Authority has guidelines, we still see 4WDs driving up rivers and perched on top of mountains”.
“There are many responsible 4WD users in New Zealand who would never consider causing this kind of damage”.
The board and the Department of Conservation have been working hard with 4WD users and clubs to ensure the high country is not damaged by vehicles, Dr Smith said.
The filming was on pastoral lease land so the pilot’s complaint has been referred to LINZ to follow up. The Commissioner of Crown Lands is investigating the matter.
4WD and trail bike users should take care to:
- Avoid sensitive areas which are easily damaged by vehicles such as alpine landscapes, swamps, waterways, sand dunes and river beds
- Stay on the roads and avoid widening them
- Respect wildlife – look but don’t disturb them
- Find out if a permit or landholder consent is required for access
- Leave gates as you find them
- Clean your vehicle before and after trips to minimise spreading weeds and diseases
- Avoid noisy driving – respect the rights of others for quiet enjoyment
- Cross waterways with care – use designated crossings where possible