Maori tourism operators help robbed UK tourists


Maori tourism operators have pitched in to help British tourists who lost cash and passports in a robbery in Whangarei.

Police said the tourists were shaken and shocked after three Maori teenagers grabbed a bag containing a large sum of cash and passports at Whangarei Falls, just north of the city on February 3.

Labour MP Kelvin Davis said he and local police had helped co-ordinate contributions from local Maori tourism operators who wanted to help the three tourists.

“The regularity of thefts and assaults against tourists is a national embarrassment and it is great that the Maori tourism sector has pulled together to help these visitors,” Mr Davis said.

“The assistance package includes a $2000 travelcard, accommodation, flights to Wellington so they can replace their passports, as well as pitching in to pay for activities while they’re in Wellington and covering their replacement passport costs.

“As Maori we understand the meaning of manaakitanga (hospitality) and feel the need to make a small gesture to compensate for what has happened to these visitors to our country.”

The visitors had been in the country only a week when they were robbed.