Boy racers: Te Kowhai residents fed up with drivers' behaviour

A small community just north of Hamilton says tensions are now at boiling point, as boy racers cause havoc on their roads at least three nights a week.

A public meeting was held in Te Kowhai on Saturday, where locals were given the chance to vent frustrations and confront the self-proclaimed car enthusiasts.

More than 60 people attended the meeting.

The locals say the problem is worsening, with hundreds of cars turning up three, sometimes four nights a week.

Local residents like Claire are fed up. 

"We've had an increasing number of boy racers come out to the area. Three to four nights a week you can have up to 200 cars."

It's not an issue exclusive to Waikato; boy racers have long been a source of frustration for communities across the country, with rural roads becoming skid pads.

This behaviour has been going on for at least the past six months, with stories of intimidation and vandalism. But those drivers accused of this behaviour say it's a small group and many of them are from out of town. 

It may have achieved something though, with one car enthusiast admitting it's time tensions cooled. 

Karl Matthews says "if the communities are coming out and telling us they're not happy with us meeting out here, then I can completely understand that". 

He says their Friday night gatherings are their equivalent of "going to the pub [or] having a barbeque". 

Police say they're doing their best to catch illegal behaviour, encouraging locals to call in with number plates or videos of racing. But many feel getting out with their own cameras, isn't a safe option.