Leeches, wedding  Rally can all go 

Medical leeches / Public Domain

Objections to a car rally, which will result in several road closures aound Waipā on Sunday March 13, includes one from a bride and another from New Zealand’s leading supplier of medicinal leeches.

The annual Targa Bambina rally will go ahead with some changes to the previously advertised route to ensure Natalie Tate’s wedding, already postponed once due to Covid-19, can proceed.

Meanwhile Maria and Robert Lupton will have a hot line to the rally organisers after they complained closure of their road could prevent the leeches they breed getting to hospitals.

The 605km rally is a three-day event based at Claudelands Events Centre in Hamilton.

Leg one on the Saturday takes in north Waikato roads and on Sunday visits Arapuni, Cambridge and Hobbiton.

The Luptons said in their opposition to the event that every time there is an event like the rally, they are “effectively imprisoning us as we cannot leave, return home or have visitors during this time, or have courier drivers through.”

They also said competitors used the roads in the lead up to the rally itself which they were not allowed to do.

The couple provide medical leeches to hospitals all around New Zealand and are on call 24/7.

“Should we get an urgent order we need to be able to have a courier through without delay, as they may need to make a flight. We cannot have a hold up on the road as leeches are time critical.”

Targa Rally event organisers contacted the Luptons and provided direct contact details to the rally base manager and course clerk so if emergency access was needed, they would arrange it.

They also agreed to stop the road closure 200m south of the intersection of Te Miro Road and Waterworks Road so Natalie Tate could get married and hold her wedding reception.

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