Tourists have been robbed in Nelson and Auckland in the past 24 hours or so.
Alas, the robbery in Nelson was accompanied by a bit of biffo.
But the greater haul – with the blessing of the city council – was taken by the plonkers who relieved travellers of their cash in Auckland.
Alf was given accounts of both incidents by NZ Herald.
In the Nelson incident, police are investigating after a German tourist was robbed early this morning.
The 29-year-old man was approached by one male and attacked from behind by another in Rutherford Street around 3am.
He was kicked and punched before the attackers took his bag containing his passport, wallet, cash and clothes – he was hospitalised with minor injuries.
One assailant’s described as short wearing dark shorts and and a dark top, the other was taller wearing similar clothing.
Police are calling for anyone with information to come forward.
It’s fair to say the offenders in the Auckland case will deny it was a criminal act.
Maybe not criminal. Just bloody rude and ill-considered.
In this case, as we learn here:
A group of visitors to the summit of Mt Eden, who were locked in for two hours after closing and then asked to pay a fine to be released, say Auckland Council need to improve signage.
About 20 cars were queued at the domain’s gates last night after security guards closed the park at 8.30pm, a new, earlier time which came into effect on Sunday.
The council has apologised to the motorists but claim only five cars were at the gate.
However a handful of Herald readers have described an “irate mob” of about 100 people from 20 cars being made to wait up to two hours to be freed.
A sheila by name of Vika Dorokhova is on the record as saying she was not impressed with the handling of the situation.
“Unfortunately, the First Security officers that eventually arrived on the scene refused to release the vehicles unless fines of $40 per vehicle were agreed to be paid,” she wrote.She said the security guards also tried to take the personal details of those in the cars before the gates were finally opened at 10.30pm.
Ms Dorokhova said a sign indicating the new earlier closing time was small and partially obscured and she believed the closing time on the council’s website was listed as 11pm.
Someone has moved fast to put things right. Today the gate-shutting time is given as 8.30pm.
Ms Dorokhova said:
“Hopefully the future forced imprisonment of tax-paying citizens and tourists on one of Auckland’s major landmarks will be resolved more efficiently since it seems gate closing times are entirely arbitrary.”
Auckland Council has issued a statement apologising to vehicle owners who were caught out by the closure.
It was working with the security contractor to ensure it did not happen again. Or so it said.
But Alf is tempted to regard the council as a bunch of highwaymen, a modern breed of those who preyed on travellers in England (and Australia) from the Elizabethan era until the 19th century. The modern lot are more disagreeable too.
The big difference is they have the law on their side.
There was a time when the forces of law and order knew how to deal with these anti-social plonkers.
Take Dick Turpin, for example (which the hangman eventually did).
On 22 March 1739 he was found guilty on two charges of horse theft and sentenced to death. He was executed on 7 April 1739.
Sadly, the only recourse open to the victims of the Mt Eden incident will be to vote the council out of office at the next local body elections. But the villains of the piece were not elected councillors. They were the council officials responsible for administering the park and its rules and who hired the mindless gate-minders from First Security