Opinion: Kiwis have been behaving badly abroad for years

OPINION: I remember standing in a pub just outside Crystal Palace in London with my Kiwi mate Mike sometime in the late 1990s looking at the mayhem his four mates were causing and wondering if we should help or run. 

Mike's mates, whose names I have long forgotten, had come over from the Motherland to visit him. He had mentioned to me they were keen to see a football match, so I offered to take them to see Crystal Palace.

I got tickets in what was called the Member's Lounge because it had a bar and you could get a beer while you watched the game. 

The four fresh-faced mates turned up already drunk, Mike told me they had kicked off with beer for breakfast. They then drank solidly throughout the game and then we ended up in the pub. 

At around 6pm one them had collapsed in a drunken heap on the floor while the other urinated against the bar. The barman tried to remove them both and the other two started a fight with him. 

A few locals joined in and it looked like a scene from a bad film as Mike and I decided to try and calm down the situation. 

I placated the barman and he agreed to let us leave without calling the police. I put Mike and his mates in a cab and left them to it. Later Mike told me the cab driver had kicked them out because one of them vomited in the back. 

This wasn't an isolated incident in London. Back then, in the 1990s, Kiwis and Aussies had taken over Shepherd's Bush, which was also home to the Walkabout pub. After an All Black game, Kiwis would pour out drunk on the snakebite they favoured. 

Those who weren't throwing up would hit the local fast food places and walk like zombies to the tube, gorging on fried chicken, chucking the cartons on the floor. The mess would be horrendous. 

Anyone who has witnessed the Waitangi Day pub crawl in the UK, or ever went to the legendary Antipodean hang out The Church knows Kiwis should be careful when getting outraged at the behaviour of a bunch of tourists here

I don't condone the behavior of the tourists, who have caused a trail of destruction from Takapuna Beach to Hamilton, it has been appalling, but the outrage that someone should come here and act that way is misplaced. 

Kiwis can drive badly, or freedom camp and crap in a bush, or litter, or sit at the beach drinking beer all day and drive home, but God forbid if a visitor does it. How dare they come over here and treat the place as we do. 

And when Kiwis go overseas and cause mayhem, well it's just high-spirits and on their OE. 

Get the tourists, who clearly have no regard for the rest of humanity, to tidy up, call the police if they cause trouble and even demand they get deported, but don't get outraged by their behaviour. Not when so many Kiwis have done far worse overseas. 


Mark Longley is the managing editor of Newshub Digital