A group of Irish people believed to be tourists have angered Auckland beachgoers after allegedly leaving a pile of rubbish on a North Shore beach.
Aucklander Krista Curnow, 28, was relaxing at Takapuna Beach on Sunday with friends when her afternoon suddenly turned sour.
She recalls seeing a group of about 12 Irish people, possibly a family, including two babies and a young boy, eating and drinking at the beach at around 3pm.
- 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic litter Earth's oceans
- NZ's plastics challenge: Four solutions to piling up waste
- New bill could see $1000 maximum instant fine for littering
When the group packed up, they left all their rubbish on the ground, Ms Curnow says.
"They were looking at us, and we were looking at them like, 'Are they serious? Are they really just going to leave all their rubbish there?'" she told Newshub.
"We thought they were going to come back but they never did so I approached them up in the carpark and asked them to come back down and pick up their rubbish."
The situation went downhill from there. Ms Curnow says she was threatened by members of the group after she confronted them about the rubbish pile.
"There were about four or five ladies standing around me in a half circle basically egging each other on to hit me."
"At that stage, I backed off a little bit," she said, and that's when a little boy threatened her.
In a video posted to Ms Curnow's Facebook page, the boy, wearing a straw hat, tells Ms Curnow: "I'll knock your brains out."
"They turned violent and even [the] grandma and the child got involved saying they wanted to punch my head in," Ms Curnow recalls.
She said she tried to film the family getting into their three cars but one of them allegedly tried to run her down and attempted to steal her phone from her hands.
"The rubbish was one thing, but drinking and driving with their babies in the car just topped it off," Ms Curnow said.
"And the mouth on that young boy - absolutely disgusting! What kind of role models are the parents allowing this sort of behaviour?"
Inspector Kevin McNaughton said police are investigating the incident and are looking to identify those involved.
"Police would like to remind the public that offenders caught illegally dumping rubbish may be issued with a fine of up to $400," he said.
"Serious offenders may also be prosecuted under the Litter Act 1979 with a maximum penalty of $30,000.
"We pride ourselves in our clean, green image as a country and thank the members of the public who reported this behaviour on this occasion."
Ms Curnow said police told her friend the Irish group has been on their radar.
Despite the ugly incident, Ms Curnow said she was moved by how much support she received at the beach after it happened.
"I loved how everyone else on the beach came to [my] support and we all picked up the rubbish together," she said.
"We live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world; how dare people come to New Zealand and disrespect our country?
"This is our home."
Ms Curnow's Facebook post has been shared over 3000 times and has collected over 4000 comments since she shared it on Sunday.
Do you have information to share about the story? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.