Alf is delighted to learn that the German tourists who were given a hard time in Papakura aren’t ready to give up on New Zealand just yet.
He urges them to put Eketahuna on their itinerary.
They will find the good citizens of Eketahuna are hospitable and take a dim view of criminal behaviour.
If anybody tried to rob them there, chances are the robber would be an out-of-towner – probably from Papakura (which Alf understands means dog shit, derived from “pap” and “cur”, or pap from a cur, but with a Maori spelling for the dog bit).
Had they known Papakura means dog shit, the tourists might have given the place a big miss, which Alf certainly strives to do at all times.
But because these tourists were German, they would not have known that Alf steers well clear of Papakura, and indeed, is reluctant to go anywhere near Auckland if he can avoid that unpleasant experience.
Yep. There might be lots of blokes on the streets of Papakura.
But it can be hard to find men.
As a consequence, we learn here –
A young tourist was beaten on a busy South Auckland street after chasing a woman who had stolen cash from her car – and no one came to her aid.
Germans Juliane Quanzt and Nina Pielstick arrived in Auckland about a month ago as part of a year-long working holiday, and have been selling strawberries in Karaka.
But on Wednesday in Papakura, they were robbed by a woman while counting money in their car.
To cut to the chase, Miss Pielstick, 20, finished up jumping out of the driver’s seat and chasing the woman.
She caught up to her a few metres from the car and tried to get the box back. “The woman hit my friend. There were many people walking past and I was yelling out for help. Nobody did anything, it was scary,” Miss Quanzt said.
“A group of five men walked past and I asked them to help but they just ignored me. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t want to leave the car in case someone else tried to steal more of our things. I was asking people to help. There were even people sitting in a car two metres away from my friend, they just sat and watched. I think that’s really sad.”
Indeed, it is is sad.
But that’s Papakura for you.
The buggers are so deprived of entertainment that they are reduced to getting their buzz from watching thieves beat up tourists.
The Pielstick sheila was hit and punched and suffered scratches to her face.
Seconds later, as the woman ran off, a police car drove past. The tourists reported the incident to police, but were shocked at the reluctance of the public to help.
Alf is pleased to learn their experience has not put them off New Zealand.
“We have met so many nice people here. We’ve just never seen anything like that before.”
Actually, they were bloody lucky the cops came by.
The police in Papakura (as you will learn here) have much better things do than catch robbers and thugs.
For example, they have reprimanded a local body politician for riding pillion without a helmet in the Papakura Santa Parade.
Papakura Local Board chairwoman Hine Joyce-Tahere rode on the back of Maori Wardens chairman Richard Noble’s Harley motorcycle without a helmet as part of a group during the event.
The act drew fire from police in the form of a strongly worded letter which said she had broken the law.
The emailed letter from police was tabled at last week’s local board meeting by deputy chairman Brent Catchpole.
He and board member Michael Turner demanded the chairwoman write a public letter of apology but were voted down.
Ms Joyce-Tahere seems to have a point when she says the letter was “ridiculous”.
“Most of the time we were standing still – we were lucky if we got up to 5km an hour,” she says.
Police prevention manager Inspector Jason Malcolm – we are told – was not at the parade.
But his letter said he was told about the incident by concerned members of his staff and found it “disturbing” – especially on a weekend where several motorcyclists died in crashes.
Mr Malcolm warned Ms Joyce-Tahere that she had broken the law, set a bad example for children at the parade and could bring Auckland Council into disrepute.
But the council’s events manager, David Burt, says roads closed for events such as Santa parades are no longer considered roads.
“Therefore road rules do not apply.”
Furthermore, parade organisers are required to submit a health and safety plan.
Those plans look at variables like low speed and high visibility in deciding whether participants should wear helmets.
Bare-headed motorbike riders were seen at other Santa parades, including Manurewa’s, but the council received no other complaints, he says.
This Catchpole feller sounds like a right old grump.
He raised the issue because the police had a “genuine concern”.
He says he was “horrified” at Ms Joyce-Tahere’s complacency on the issue.
“I can’t believe that somebody who made that big a mistake and then thought it was OK, basically sat back, arms folded, saying ‘I’m not doing anything’.
“I don’t think that’s a good look for the public,” Mr Catchpole says.
But it’s a helluva lot better than the look that comes from people watching while tourists are beaten up.