DOC Brands One-day Riders “Tax Evaders”
The Inland Revenue Department today acted on a report by the Department of Conservation that mountain bikers cycling the Heaphy Track in a single day were utilising a tax-payer funded public facility for free and thereby avoiding their civic, patriotic and national responsibility to the State, the People of Aotearoa and the Nation’s coffers.
Such selfish and unpatriotic behaviour has been deemed by DOC and the IRD as “treasonous” and have vowed to persecute perpetrators and prosecute to the full extent of the law. Mountain bikers found guilty of tax-evasion and thereby treason will be subjected to a rigorous public trial, media exposure, ridicule and denouncement by friends and family and inevitable incarceration in maximum security prisons never again to see the light of day.
Rightly so said local DOC heavyweight Dick Bobson (and VERY amateur poet) in a press release recently. “It’s user-pays these days/mountain bike riders (and other insiders)/ should take responsibility and not ride for free…do you see?”
Spokesman for the West Coast Mountain Biking Association Mr. Samson “Pedals” Elijah added weight to the assertions by the two government departments when he said, “Cycling the Heaphy Track is a privilege made possible by the sweat of tax-payers brows. To abuse the facility without paying is tantamount to lèse-majesté and perpetrators should be apprehended on arrival in Karamea, taken to the police cell, be introduced to Sergeant Windy Locks (the local hairdresser) and given a damn good short back and sides.” (Other penalties provided apparently include; Brazilian body waxing, anal bleaching, pubic electrolysis and water boarding).
Heaphy Track mountain biker and tax cheat Mr Bill Swindler of Golden Bay said on completing the Heaphy Track on the opening day of May 1, 2011, “I started riding and sunrise and arrived at the Kohaihai Shelter (which was built with public $pondoolie) at 2:30 p.m. and I have to say, that was the most fun I’ve ever had avoiding tax in my career as a tithe dodger…I only wish the track was a little longer so that I could get a full day’s graft in…perhaps I’ll ride a little slower on my way home and get my money’s worth.” When asked to elaborate, Mr Swindler added, “I’m a tax-payer, I’ve worked hard all my life, I believe I am entitled to use public facilities that I have helped pay build for free and without the stigma of public ridicule and slander.”
Mr Swindler’s’ comments raised the issue of the hut fees on the Heaphy Track, which are currently $30.60 per night, which does seem rather steep given the lack of electricity, hot water, linen, Sky TV, and broadband Internet, all of which are available at Rongo Backpackers & Gallery (www.rongobackpackers.com) for as little as $24 per night with the fourth night free. Mr Bobson from DOC responded with the following statement, “The huts on the Heaphy Track are to provide shelter and warmth to New Zealanders and visitors to our country who are walking or cycling through the fabulous Kahurangi National Park and the hut fees contribute to the maintenance of the huts, track and other facilities along the way to ensure the comfort, safety and enjoyment of the people…while the facilities may not be five-star, the experience most certainly is and DOC believes people will appreciate this and allow themselves to be gouged accordingly.”
Rongo Backpackers owner, and Karamea Radio disc jockey DJ Crap said, “The Heaphy Track is a five star experience and Rongo Backpackers provides cyclists and trampers with a little five-star luxury accommodation at the end of the experience…soak in a firebath, watch a movie in the in-house theatre, guest DJ on the local radio station 107.5 FM, catch up on the latest news, update FaceBook posts, tweets, blogs etc on the WiFi Internet service, enjoy a “Heaphy Conqueror’s Feast of locally grown, organic, nutritious, healthy seasonal and fresh food after a hot shower and a cold beer…all for less than the cost of a night on the Heaphy Track…and I should also mention that every 4th night at Rongo is free!” “Book ahead to avoid disappointment,” he added.
Whatever the outcome of the debate on tax-evasion, the Heaphy Track will remain open to trampers and cyclists to enjoy and it is hoped by all concerned that the three-year mountain biking trial on the Heaphy Track will prove mutually beneficial for DOC, the IRD, The General Public, Mountain Biking and Tramping Clubs, local businesses in both Golden Bay and Karamea, the fantastic flora and fauna and spectacular scenery of the Kahurangi National Park…and for the national economy. Mountain bikers who seek to ride the track in a single day and avoid their responsibility to the national coffers are asked to make a generous donation to the Department of Conservation to do their part to help make this trial a big success so that future generations of New Zealanders can continue to enjoy and ultilse such splendid public facilities as the Heaphy Track.
(Are the honourable MP and his Friends tax cheats? DOC and the IRD think so, The Rongolian Star welcomes reader feedback on this issue)
For more information contact the Department of Conservation Perfidy Hotline on: 0800 1080 1080
The Rongolian Star Picture of the Month: Kohaihai River Mouth: Scenery at the Karamea End of the Heaphy Track. (Photo by Paul Murray)