I call bollocks on the Taupo story

There has been a massive media beat-up in the past two days about an alleged “racism” incident involving a South African repeater in Taupo. The situation hasn’t been helped by bloggers who should know better, especially ones who are supposed to have been journalist trained and are allegedly Maori and should know what the makeup of the force is in places like Taupo.

The story just doesn’t ring true. The South African repeaters say there was racial profiling and that he was targeted because he is black. Again I call bullshit on that.

Anyone who knows the Central Plateau and Taupo in particular knows that the Police on the beat are predominantly maori, in Taupo that is likely to be more than 60%. I rang around a number of my Police sources and they confirm that this is the case. The chances that the police investigating this complaint were Maori is very high.

Also this is Taupo, in almost ever pub you care to choose there will be large numbers of Maori happily drinking with every one else. Racism in Taupo and other Central Plateau towns is insignificant. The forestry and tourism sectors alone in those towns guarantee a large Maori population.

After seeing the massive beat up on Campbell Live I thought I’d ring the Mayor of Taupo, Rick Coooper. I’ve heard he is a bit of a lad, and a rough kiwi bloke who wouldn’t mince words. I was right. Turns out he is in China at the moment but he took the ime to answer some of my questions.

He confirmed my hypothesis of the local coppers, he also professed great support for the thin blue line in Taupo. Now before anyone jumps up and down and moans that Rick Copper is a bigot himself bear in mind that this is a guy who carries around little reflector stickers in his car and is waging a one man war against NZTA to put macrons on Taupo road signs.

When I asked about this incident he was unequivocal:

“Sometimes a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth gets a chance to pull its trousers on.”

He is adamant that this is a stitch up by South African media involved to manufacture a story out of nothing. He said the claims Mr Ngobeni was “transported to the police station 400m away and searched” are rubbish. Cooper says the bar is barely 200m from the cop shop. Actually it is 277m but that is quite a way off 400m.

Mr is upset because he was taken away and searched. What did he really want, to be searched there int eh bar, now that would have been embarrassing. It turns out that despite the complaint from the member of the public that he was not found to be carrying any narcotics, and police released him ten minutes later and apologised for the mistaken identity.

Ten minutes is not much time to worry about and from the short amount of time taken shows that the Police weren’t into any sort of racial hassles as has been claimed. If that was true then I think he would have found himself cooling his heals for some considerable amount of time in the Taupo cells rather than being let go to continue drinking.

From this beat up of a story one can only conclude that the media and the people involved think that the Police shouldn’t act on complaints and potentially let crimes occur un-policed.

The story is rubbish and programmes like Campbell Live should know better. I’ll leave the last word to Mayor Rick Cooper on whether the Police in Taupo are racist:

“For the people who say that, if brains were dynamite then they wouldn’t have enough to blow their noses.”


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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