T for Tourist, or T for Take all my stuff?

A group of Kiwis is throwing their support behind a campaign calling  to drive with “T-plates” on their rental cars.

The founder of the “T-Plates for Tourists” movement said tourists should have to pass a test before they can drive on New Zealand’s challenging, distracting and often unforgiving terrain.

“People who come to this country are given the right to drive despite many of them not knowing our driving rules or regulations – hence the number of crashes that occur on our roads,” the man, known only as Josh, told MediaWorks.

“I think there should be a test for tourists to sit like our learners test that is compulsory for anyone who wants to drive in this country.

“Following passing this test they could receive a T-plate which would allow other drivers to know the dangers.”

The campaign’s Facebook page has attracted more than 3000 followers and a petition has started up on its dedicated website urging the Government to introduce a T-plate system.

What next?  A man walking in front of camper vans with flags?   Read more »


Tourists will have more places to poop thanks to John Key


Another pre-budget announcement

The Government has announced an extra $20 million for the tourism sector to help communities deal with infrastructure problems.

The issue hit headlines recently with small towns under pressure due to the growing number of tourists visiting our shores.

It is estimated the number of freedom campers who rely on public facilities have already reached around 60,000 this year.

Prime Minister John Key says the tourism industry is doing well and the new initiatives will help it grow. Read more »


Comment of the Day: Are we heading for 0% New Zealand?

The opening ceremony of a giant rugby ball for Tourism New Zealand in front of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, Friday, October 05, 2007. Credit:NZPA / Ross Setford

Sally writes:

South Islanders you are overrun by tourists.

After a few days down there doing all the tourist things I felt like a foreign tourist in my own country.

Really good for the economy but sometimes I wished that there were more NZers employed in the hospitality and tourism trade. Read more »


A sensible idea: One tourist visa gets you into both New Zealand and Australia


The Tourism Industry Association (TIA) is backing calls for a trans-Tasman tourist visa to cover international visitors.

It would allow visitors to travel between Australia and New Zealand on the same visa – a concept first trialled during last year’s Cricket World Cup. Read more »


Government steps up, a little, for mitigating a problem it created itself


Tourism is booming, but local councils aren’t all able to cope with the increase in visitor numbers. Their infrastructure is creaking at the seams, especially while the lower end of the tourism market places pressure on limited facilities.

Freedom campers will benefit from this year’s Budget with Prime Minister John Key revealing money will be allocated for infrastructure improvements.

Mr Key told The Nation the growing tourism industry is putting pressure on local councils.

“There’s an infrastructure deficit for the backpacker end, where people are staying out there, [they’re] not necessarily staying in a motel or holiday park and that’s a real issue for local councils,” says Mr Key.

He did not reveal specific details of how much spending would be allocated, or which facilities it would be spent on. Read more »

Builders and Wreckers: Key and Little

Last week could not have provided a more obvious contrast between the choice that voters face.  Key worked hard to earn money for us all by charming the pants off existing and new trading partners in China. Little, on the other hand, ran smear after smear.

Prime Minister John Key is due to arrive back from his trip to China [today], but it is already being hailed as a success in terms of trade.

China looks likely to allow New Zealand chilled meat into its market, opening up valuable trade opportunities.

It could be worth hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars to our economy. Experts say exporting chilled meat to China will open a whole new market.

On his last day of a week-long visit to China, Mr Key said the first shipments could be on the way within a couple of months.

That’s a huge win for beef and lamb farmers. Read more »

$1.5 million is owed just in freedom camping fines

Ah yes.  The NZ disease strikes again – lack of enforcement.

Currently many overseas drivers leave the country without paying fines.

Local councils say that over $1.5 million is owed just in freedom camping fines and the Ministry of Justice estimates that the total amount of fines owed by people who are now overseas could total up to $30m, including New Zealanders who have left the country.

For councils the fact that overseas tourists often ignore fines means that enforcement is becoming increasingly difficult.

In Queenstown, the council is issuing up to 50 freedom camping fines every night but the lack of an effective fine collection system means the problem continues to get worse. The council’s response has been to start clamping vehicles.

That’s one way around it.   Read more »

McIvor behind the move to reign in Wicked Campers

Kerry used to be quite the party girl back in her day.  It seems age has made her sensible curmudgeonly.

This statement was posted on the Wicked Campers’ website last year after a complaint from Women’s Refuge: “We employed a team of highly intelligent, socially conscious super monkeys to closely monitor the subject matter featured on our vehicles and scream loudly when offended. Moral Monkey Squad are dedicated to satisfying the whims and wishes of the humour-inept, self-righteous moral majority while wearing little monkey tuxedos and funny hats.”

That’s his strategy and it’s not a bad one. If you don’t find the “Lads! Lads! Lads!” type of puerile, sexist humour amusing, you’re a thin-lipped prude who is either not getting enough (women) or is gay (men and women).

You find yourself having to defend your own sense of humour and that always sounds a bit desperate.

The “hey, chill out, bro” faction advises people to just ignore the vans and their slogans.

It’s a little hard to ignore a large slogan painted all over the back of a van when you’re crawling along in Easter holiday traffic.

Imagine heading away with the family this weekend, getting stuck behind one of Webb’s campers for 40-odd minutes and having to explain to your 7-year-old daughter what various sexual acts are. Or explain the meaning behind: “In every princess there’s a little slut who wants to try it just once.”

Or why every third ad on the car radio is about men’s sexual dysfunction, or why some streets seem to have an awful lot of masseurs.   Or why most of their friends live at two houses with mum and someone and dad and someone.   Read more »

Well done Paula and all you other SJWs, now innocent tourists are being victimised

Paula Bennett started a war on Wicked Campers and, as a result, copped some pretty disgusting attacks against her.

But her own actions have now seen innocent tourists cop a flogging from Social Justice Warriors emboldened by official support to perform their own vigilante justice on tourists.

They wanted to see New Zealand on a budget, but they have also received some cheap shots in response to the slogan on the back of their rental van.

Dahman Soraya and Rossano Antonini ​admit they are not a big fan of the slogan – Virginity is curable– painted on the back of their Wicked Camper but say it was not like they had a choice.

“We wanted to see New Zealand and this was the cheapest way for us to do that,” Antonini said.

“It’s not like we had a choice of slogan you just turn up and you get given one. Some are rude and some are more profound.”

Read more »

Richard Harman: time to charge tourists to access our national parks?

With Government funding for the Department of Conservation (DOC) effectively frozen since 2009 it is increasingly looking to private sources for money to do its job.

And the pressure on the conservation estate from tourism means that one of those sources could soon be foreign tourists asked to pay to visit our National Parks.

Since the 2008 Budget, funding for DOC has increased by 8% – but over the same period inflation has gone up by 11.2%.

At the same time overseas tourists have increased by 27% to 3.1 million a year.

This means more pressure on the conservation estate as the tourists flock to Mt Cook or Fiordland or other prime tourist spots.

Conservationist and businessman, and New Zealander of the year nominee, Rob Fenwick, says that DOC has changed its attitude and now recognises it cannot manage all this on its own.

Read more »