Before someone accuses me of being some kind of ‘anti-New Zealand tourist terrorist,’ read on my friends. Today I heard about an unsuspecting naive tourist from Scotland was mugged by a New Zealander and unfortunately this is not an uncommon occurrence. The victim hails from Scotland and if he is some distant relative, I apologize on behalf of all New Zealanders. Surely tourists should be able to go about their business without been taken advantage of by unscrupulous locals.
This unfortunate gentleman had taken a break to snap some pictures of the magnificent mountains he was travelling through. Perhaps he felt homesick for his native Scotland; the hills and glens a far off memory and paling into significance compared to the beauty he was observing.
He had heard that New Zealand is basically a laid back and generally ‘honest place.’ He had even heard that in the more ‘rural’ areas, one could leave the back door open. He did just that, with his campervan. After all, what could go wrong? The other ‘happy’ tourists looked decidedly decent so what the hell.
Unknown to him a rather feathery ‘native’ was lurking, watching his every move. When Scotty left his van unattended and with the windows wide open the said beast, a New Zealand Highland parrot, called the Kea, took his chances. The sneaky little sod flew into the car and rummaged around, searching for items that could be ‘tradable’ amongst his other criminal friends. Apparently this bird, yes bird, was well connected to a few good fences (if such a person exists).
The naughty Kea spied a little package on the dash board and he pounced. As Scotty watched the Kea flew to ‘mountains high’ to share the proceeds with his mates and the ‘fence.’ In the meantime, Scotty was short of $1300 $NZ. What a very expensive lesson for an unsuspecting visitor. We are deeply ashamed as a nation and no doubt other NZers will step up to the mark and make good for Scotty.