The president of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, Dick Waters, may have wounded himself in his own foot after issuing another call yesterday for freedom campers to be “shot” if they use vans that don’t have their own toilet facilities. Mr Waters, is reported as having said yesterday that “Messy freedom campers who trundle around the country in sleeper vans without toilets or self-contained utilities should be “shot”. It followed similar comments he made in January
His remarks will probably touch a raw nerve with campers who have suffered assaults and robberies whilst camping in New Zealand (see posts tagged Campsite Assaults)
Effectively declaring open season on certain types of campers isn’t going to do much to enhance the country’s tarnished reputation for visitor safety is it? Even if the comment was meant to shock, rather than be taken literally, it may cause certain elements of NZ society to feel less than ‘gracious’ towards visitors, who may be now viewed as little more than vermin.
The Rugby World Cup will be held in NZ next year, there is already said to be a shortage of accommodation and talk of bringing in ships to provide extra beds. Many visiting fans will probably be hiring camper vans. We have the feeling this is not a good time to be issuing a ‘call to arms.’
See also: A group of freedom campers at Waitapu Bridge in Golden Bay was threatened with violence by local residents with pig (hunting) dogs, if they did not leave the site. link
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