Te Anau’s tourism reputation is in danger after a gang of drunken youths assaulted visitors to the town recently. The story was picked up by the Southland Times who reported that
Constable Glen Matheson, of Te Anau, said a group of seven visitors was attacked at the skate park on the outskirts of the central business district about 11.30pm on Saturday on their way to the Moose Bar…
…The incident was one of three unprovoked attacks in as many weeks, all believed to be carried out by the same group.
And the level of violence was escalating, he said. “We believe this is the core group that is causing it so we are making a move to stomp that out.” read the full story on the Southland Times site
Sounds as if the police have got their work cut-out sorting out these young ruffians, in much the same way that Kaikoura has.
One of the visitors attacked in the latest incident was on holiday from the United States and there was a growing concern about how it could affect the town’s reputation as a destination, he said.
Here’s hoping they get it sorted out before the Rugby World Cup.
One thought on “Te Anau Troubled By Tourist Attacks”
The skateboard parks in these New Zealand towns, and indeed everywhere – googling crime and skate park will give you returns from all over – were put there so that the youth would have something to do besides get into trouble. It’s true that some teens go to them and skateboard instead of engage in mischief such as loitering, breaking&entering, drinking, smoking dope, beating one another up and tagging. But I have also noticed they attract a certain resentful underprivileged urban-oriented element of society marked by a position of social and political conflict with the established order and disrespect for authority, not to mention a hatred towards anyone with more money than themselves. There are unemployed youth in their 20s who hang around the skate parks as well, menacing passersby by glaring and refusing to cede way on the sidewalk. Sometimes at night they drink there and in wooded areas nearby, and smash the bottles afterward, so that when smaller children on bikes and roller skates use the surrounding area and paved trails in the daytime, there is broken glass on the surfaces that mums have to worry about. Never swept up. Just left there. I have never seen them dealing drugs around the skate park, but then I don’t go to town when it is dark, either. I have lived in my Northland town for quite some years now. I believe the problem has become worse because it seems like everyone is having their benefit cut or not having it granted in the first place, and the culture up here is one of benefit entitlement, so there has been a shake up with demographics.
Having activities such as skate parks available for teens who would otherwise be making mischief is laudable. Allowing the culture that often accompanies it to create an unwanted menacing presence in a town is not.
As many posters have pointed out, it is not that these problems don’t exist everywhere. It is that New Zealand should not imply as a marketing ploy that it lacks these problems or has them to a lesser extent. It is for this reason that sites like E2NZ have been created – to point out that migrants won’t be escaping anything of this sort by moving to New Zealand, and in fact, might find themselves prevented by the economic conditions in NZ from moving away to a better place once they take this reality on board.
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