DOC says ‘obnoxious hut behaviour’ will not be tolerated after a group of jetboaters were allegedly drunk, noisy and rude to other trampers at Lake Alabaster Hut on the Hollyford Track.
DOC said the group was flown into the 26-bunk hut with their jetboats, and had brought a large amount of alcohol with them.
A tramper laid a formal complaint to DOC after staying in the hut. It is alleged that members of the group were unnecessarily noisy and rude to other hut occupants and went hunting at night while drunk.
Te Anau operations manager Greg Lind said the obnoxious behaviour would not be tolerated.
“We have investigated the incident and, though no criminal acts have been uncovered, there was clear disregard shown by the party for other hut users,” Lind said. “It appears, based on this and other incidents, some jet boaters simply do not understand reasonable behaviour in the backcountry.
“I have received reports of similar behaviour at Wairaurahiri Hut in southern Fiordland. Offensive behaviour, especially when it intimidates other users of DOC facilities, is unacceptable. We have spoken with the group leader concerned.”
Additional DOC staff are being deployed to popular visitor locations throughout Fiordland over the busy summer season.
“DOC will be taking a hard line on any antisocial behaviour,” Lind said.
Steve Kirner, vice president and national safety officer of Jet Boating New Zealand, said they fully supported DOC’s stance.
“Jet Boating New Zealand does not condone this kind of behaviour and if any such instance involved its members we would fully co-operate with DOC or other authorities,” Kimer said.
“Sadly, isolated incidents like this, regardless of whether they are JBNZ members, reflect badly on our organisation and jet boaters in general.”
Lind said the clear majority of hut users in Fiordland were considerate and friendly.
“It’s a uniquely New Zealand experience to visit a DOC hut, meet people and make new friends. It’s part of what makes us Kiwis.
“My request to jet boaters and others flying into these wonderful places is to respect the places and the rights and enjoyment of other users.”
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