Lotto defends Kaikohe police car symbol on Pork Pie scratchie


Lotto NZ has come under fire on social media for a symbol used to represent the Northland town of Kaikohe on a movie-themed Instant Kiwi scratchie.

The $3 scratchie is themed around the movie Pork Pie and uses the symbol of the Sky Tower to represent Auckland, a geyser for Rotorua, a snowboarder for Queenstown - and a police car for Kaikohe.

Kaikohe local Kemble Sheryal Doddrell told Newshub she came across the Instant Kiwi poster whilst purchasing items at the Pukenui Four Square.

"At first observation, I'm not going to lie, I thought it was a humorous and 'typical dig' at the 'rough' nature of my home town," she said. 

"Yes, Kaikohe has its faults. Yes, we have our fair share of issues. But there is so much more to my community than this stereotype. I personally know so many people from this town that are accomplishing and achieving greatness, but these successes are never heard of... Because we are constantly clouded by the negative opinions held over our community."

In an email to Newshub, another person complained of "disgusting Instant Kiwi advertising".

Kaikohe struggles with a crime rate above the national average. In 2016, Newshub and Statistics NZ reported Kaikohe was the top regional town for public violence. There were 68 reported assaults, sexual attacks and robberies in one area - three times the national average.

But Lotto says the ticket illustrates events seen in the yet-to-be-released film - a remake of the 1981 classic Goodbye Pork Pie - and does not reflect the town of Kaikohe at all. 

Lotto spokesperson Amelia Mazur says the ticket is based on the new Pork Pie movie, in which a little yellow mini is chased by Police from Kaikohe to Invercargill.

The selection of a police car represents the beginning of the chase in the movie, and is "in no way a reflection of the town," Ms Mazur says.

New Zealand First leader and Northland MP, Winston Peters, is angry at the choice of icon.

"It's a pretty poor choice of imagery for Kaikohe, to be imaged that way is very disappointing," he says.

Mr Peters says the Kaikohe community should have been asked what icon they wanted.

"It deliberately [represents a negative look on Northland and] it just shows [the] slack way some people conceive other communities around the country."

In the original film, the police chase begins in Kaitaia, an hour's drive north of Kaikohe. A publicist for Pork Pie says in the new version, the story begins in Kaikohe, "and this is also the point at which the Mini becomes a wanted vehicle by the police." 

Pork Pie is due for release on February 2.