“Tourist Beaters Up Un-Maori”

“Stop embarrassing us

The Labour party has been swift to issue a press release condemning yesterday’s early morning attack on a party of French tourists camping in a lay-by near Mangamuka, Northland (for background see our earlier post today)

Michael Laws, mayor of Wanganui also issued a rebuke, calling Maori communities in the far north an “underclass” with “feral” children. He added “the difference between those Maori communities and the developing nation of Haiti was New Zealand’s generous welfare system”. Source

The ever nearing Rugby World Cup, set to attract thousands of tourists, is starting to make some people sit up and think about the image New Zealand presents abroad. It’s time to save face because tourism means big money:

“This latest incident is the latest in a long line of attacks on tourists in Northland over the last 4 years…”

“In the wake of an attack on three French tourists in Mangamuka, Northland by two Maori males, Labour Party Maori MP and Tourism spokesperson Kelvin Davis says he is sickened and ashamed of the way some of his own people treat visitors.

“It is totally opposite to our customs and values to abuse visitors, and these thugs don’t deserve the right to be called Maori. We are a proud and noble people and these scum undermine that,” Kelvin Davis said.

“Just yesterday I wrote an article for a tourism publication, urging the government to support Maori in tourism, saying we are a unique and vital element to the New Zealand tourism scene. These mongrels simply undermine any attempts for Maori to get ahead in the industry.

“They will undermine those Maori entrepreneurs who are looking to open marae up to the influx of tourists expected at next years Rugby World Cup.

“This latest attack on tourists just jeopardises that whole concept, because no one will want to be hosted by a bunch of Maoris who in their minds are just going to smack them over and pinch their belongings.”

“Smack them over and pinch their belongings”?  he makes it sound like a school yard prank!

“Those folk who were opening up their marae were adamant that tourists would have to follow correct tikanga or protocol. This incident by two brainless bums, demonstrates how pathetically hypocritical we are. One moment we have a group of Maori insisting visitors abide by tikanga, then the next moment we have another group of Maori trampling on tikanga as they loot and pillage our visitors. So much for manaakitanga (hospitality).

Tourism is a job rich industry that is crying out for constructive Maori input. Thugs like this just keep Maori rooted at the bottom of the ladder to success.

“This latest incident is the latest in a long line of attacks on tourists in Northland over the last 4 years. Tourists are visitors, they take their experiences in New Zealand and share them with others.

“My message to those who prey on tourists remains the same. Cut it out, stop embarrassing us and watch out if you get caught.”

Our message is

1. Catch and punish the offenders, make an real example of them in the courts.

2. Get more police out patrolling the streets.

3. Warn tourists about unsafe practices e.g. camping in laybys or in non registered sites.

4. Don’t declare open season and invite victimisation of  free campers by saying they should be shot!

5. Give tourists secure places in which to leave valuables e.g. security boxes.

Then you can start worrying about saving face.

See also our blog posts

“Freedom campers should be shot” Feb 2010:

“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

Turangi Campervan Robbery – Family Robbed”  Oct 2009:

“Both the Herald and TV3 are carrying reports about a family who were robbed whilst sleeping in their campervan near Turangi around 1.30am this morning.

The family of five, comprised of two parents and children aged 10, 13 and a girl of 17. There was also a 17 year old male travelling with the group. They were said to be deeply upset by the incident, but fortunately no one was hurt.

The group was camping in a layby known as the Three Sisters, near the Oturere Stream, State Highway 1, which is approximately 25km south of Turangi.

News reports the following day named the parents as Glenn and Rhonda Moulden from Pukekohe.

The incident is bound to rekindle the debate over the safety of free camping in New Zealand.”