New Zealand is Stuck in 1984, or When Airports and Pharmacists Spy on People


Make a few trips to the airport in NZ and you may get one of these…

This recent thread from reddit/r/newzealand says a lot about the country’s surveillance culture and its drug problem.

The image above is from a letter a motorist received from the NZ Transport Agency accusing him of being an unlicensed small passenger private hire service (‘Uber driver’) because he made a few trips to the airport to drop off family and friends. Disturbingly the warning letter (above) was hand delivered to his home:


But it seems that’s not the only example of New Zealand’s surveillance culture. You can become the focus of police attention at the discretion of a single pharmacist., and you won’t ever know about it because he gets to decide if you’re entitled to privacy or not.

The following excerpt was part of a side-discussion that started out of the above mentioned reddit thread…



This pharmacist doesn’t pull his punches

Value your civil liberties? Better give New Zealand a wide berth.

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5 thoughts on “New Zealand is Stuck in 1984, or When Airports and Pharmacists Spy on People

  1. Hey KD, not sure why you think Donald Trump has anything to do with this site?

    Talking about wide berths, no doubt you were grateful for the assistance US and Canadian warships rendered to Kaikoura after the quakes? You just don’t know how to articulate it.

    But, if I were you I’d be far more concerned with what’s happening on my own doorstep right now.

    All the best with getting Kaikoura back to something resembling normality. Please accept our deepest condolences for the events of the 14 November onwards, and for the havoc they have wrought on your township and the surrounding countryside.

    Unfortunately some are suffering even more than you:


  2. Yeah I am not surprised. Everybody in this country is suspect. Nobody trusts anyone in this country because everybody in this country is so quick to judge you and profile you just on you appearance. All you need to do in this country is to be wrong age, have wrong skin colour or even something as little as wear wrong shoes or clothes to have a place try and forcefully detain you against your will when you have done nothing wrong, search you, call security or even sometimes cops. It’s this sort of behaviour why for privileged white guy like myself I identify so much with black lives movement back home because living here in this country most of my adult life I have finally learnt what it must be like for them when the thing about living here in NewZealand is that everybody here treats each other like they’re black ! It’s this sort of childish, insulting, disgusting behaviour that I really do hate most about this country, how everybody treats one another like they’re out to get them, they’re out to hurt them or hurt others and how we all have to be in our guard just in case. I mean why they all think that they’re somebody that people would want harm them is beyond me but yet is still another classic example of the kind of kiwi arogrance that you have to put up with from people living here.
    – Honestly I can’t tell you how pathetically lame this place is and I really do feel for guy who’s only crime here was dropping his family off at the airport or tried to get some cold medicine for his sick kid from his G.P or a local drugstore. Seriously stories I can tell you ! Try depositing anything more than $500 cash at a bank in this country at any one time and not have branch manager talk to you like your criminal or drug lord, it can’t be done ! Or try and pay for something like gas with hundred dollar note and them refusing to take it because they think it’s counterfeit or stolen. Asking for cash discounts on big ticket item, at any big chain retailers here only going get you spoken to by police. Trust me on this because I know ! People thinking of coming here, please, I beg of you, just stay away … 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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