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?  

So the proposal for T-plates, which will alert local drivers to the foreigner in their midst, has been gaining support across the country.

“New Zealand’s terrain and roads are unlike anywhere else in the world,” Wellington man Jacob Hattersley wrote in a recent piece for Fairfax in support of the proposal.

“This, combined with the prospect and perception of space, beauty and a largely insouciant attitude, has blinded many tourists when travelling across our country.

“It seems highly illogical that the country imposes a three-tier licensing system that governs the New Zealand public, yet very few measures are imposed upon those unfamiliar with the land.”

Last year, the country’s rental vehicle and tourism groups developed a code of practice that would better screen tourists who wanted to drive a rented vehicle in New Zealand, including asking them if they were familiar with local road rules before getting behind the wheel.

Contempt for foreign drivers is nothing new.

Define Tourist.   If I drop into Queenstown and grab a rental car at the airport for a long weekend away, do I have to drive around with a T plate?   I prefer not, if it is all the same thanks.  What better way to stand out like a sore thumb?

Not to bash the far North, but I similarly see a T plate as a “come rob my vehicle” sign.

When I’m visiting somewhere, I prefer not to stand out.  Standing out is not a good idea.  Neither is being labeled as something different, less than others.


Shouldn’t we make other people wear yellow stars too?  Perhaps beneficiaries should be labeled?

Maori too, so we know not to be racist towards them.

And trans-gendered so we can direct them to safe toilets.


– news.com.au via NZ Herald

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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.