New Zealand's obsession with rowdy tourists captures world's attention

New Zealand's news has been dominated by a family of rowdy British holidaymakers this past week, and it hasn't gone unnoticed by the world. 

From Reuters, to the Mirror and Daily Mail, international media have picked up on the sensation, with stories highlighting how journalists have been threatened and deportation notices have been issued. 

"A group of British tourists has been asked to leave New Zealand after they were reported for shoplifting, littering, threatening residents and causing chaos," international news organisation Reuters reported this week

The Daily Mail's story has been share on social media over 5000 times.
The Daily Mail's story has been share on social media over 5000 times. Photo credit: Screenshot

The debacle traces back to Sunday when the group of travellers, initially thought to be Irish, were confronted by a group of beachgoers at Auckland's Takapuna Beach after allegedly leaving a huge pile of rubbish behind. 

The young woman who approached them, Aucklander Krista Curnow, told Newshub on Monday she felt threatened by members of the group, and video she posted showed a young boy telling her he'd knock her brains out. 

The incident struck a nerve with New Zealanders, with many calling for the holidaymakers to be deported from the country. 

"We live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world; how dare people come to New Zealand and disrespect our country?" Ms Curnow said. 

The holidaymakers were captured on CCTV at a car dealership in Hamilton.
The holidaymakers were captured on CCTV at a car dealership in Hamilton. Photo credit: Newshub
Rubbish pile allegedly left on Takapuna Beach by the holidaymakers.
Rubbish pile allegedly left on Takapuna Beach by the holidaymakers. Photo credit: Supplied / Krista Curnow

Channel News Asia quoted Auckland Mayor Phil Goff as calling the tourists "trash" and "leeches". The article then highlighted how the Mayor told a student radio station he'd "like to see them out of the country". 

Multiple restaurant owners came forward following the incident alleging the group refused to pay the bill for their meals. One curry restaurant in Northcote was allegedly left $250 out of pocket after the group refused to pay.  

When images of the group surfaced online, Australian media linked them to travellers who were run out of Queensland in Australia in 2018 after they were accused of scamming restaurants and residents of thousands of dollars. 

Media attention covering the travellers intensified from there, as the group moved on to Hamilton, where a 26-year-old woman, Tina Marie Cash, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft in the Hamilton District Court. 

British tabloid The Sun jumped on the story, publishing an article about where Cash allegedly used to live in Leicestershire in the English Midlands. A journalist for the tabloid visited village where a local said they were terrorised by the group's anti-social behaviour.

The Mirror also ran a story on the holidaymakers, highlighting how Cash admitted to theft charges and that the family faced deportation after being met by authorities in Hamilton on Tuesday. 

New Zealand's obsession with rowdy tourists captures world's attention
Photo credit: Screenshot

British tabloid the Daily Mail ran an article on the group which has been shared on social media over 5000 times. The article alleges that the tourists put ants and hair in their meals in an attempt to get meals for free at restaurants. 

The sightings kept on coming, and by Thursday, New Zealand's major media outlets all seemed to be following the holidaymakers' every move. 

The group was spotted in Levin on Thursday, and were described by a motel employee as "polite" and saying they "would be welcome back again". 

Levin Mayor Michael Feyen warned people in the area to watch out for group after they caused trouble in Auckland and Hamilton.

But the motel worker said the warning was "over the top" and said he hadn't witnessed any reason to suggest they were bad people.

The holidaymakers are now understood to be in Wellington, where they have already caused trouble by lying about a motel booking. 

A woman, who appeared to be in her 40s, told Newlands Court Motel manager Wayne Xuan that the group had booked a studio room when she hadn't.

British High Commissioner to New Zealand, Laura Clarke, told Newstalk ZB she couldn't simply deport the travellers, as that would be "overreaching" her powers. 

Newshub.

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