A group of tourists have been travelling the country (Auckland) leaving litter and unpaid restaurant bills in their wake. Government-appointed negotiator Madeleine Chapman tries to reason with them.
Kia ora Sir,
My name is Madeleine Chapman and I’m here to negotiate on behalf of the New Zealand government and its citizens. You can tell me your name if you wish, but please don’t feel that you have to. I’m speaking to you because you appear to be the leader of your group. I’m not here to demand anything of you just yet, I’m simply here to listen.
First, here’s what I understand so far, correct me if I’m wrong about any of the events or facts.
Sometime early in the new year, you and your travel companions dined at the Backyard Bar & Restaurant in Northcote. Was it good? I’ve never been. You claimed there were ants in your food and only paid for three meals. On behalf of the country, I apologise for this incident.
A few days later you went back and again, did not pay for your meals because you said there was a hair in them. Again, I apologise on behalf of the country.
You repeat this process days later at Artwok in Takapuna. Okay, see, now I’m starting to think that maybe you just don’t like paying for your meals. Am I right? No? Again, I apologise. Please don’t swear at me.
A man who claims to have sat next to your travel companions on a flight from Hong Kong to Auckland alleges that one of you had a poo-filled nappy in your carry-on. That’s…gross, but I’m not judging. Kids can be a handful and can produce a handful, I get it. I’m just trying to understand.
Okay, now for the big one. I think you know what I’m talking about. Littering at Takapuna Beach. Guys, come on. It says here you were drinking Coronas. I love a cheeky Corona. Did you put lemon in it? You’ve got to put lemon in it. Lemons aren’t the cheapest fruit but I have a tree at home so- um, no sorry I don’t think I’m allowed to tell you where I live. Anyway that’s not the point. The point is that there were rubbish bins right there on the beach. It’s so easy to be a tidy Kiwi. That’s what we call ourselves because we love to be tidy and not litter. You’re right, it’s dumb. And yes, I agree that woman had no right to tell you to pick up after yourself or film you in such a vulnerable state of being shirtless and wearing an oversized hat. In fact, I’m speaking to her right after this.
Is that your uncle walking over? No, of course I won’t talk to him. I promise.
Look, just between the two of us, you’re scaring a lot of folks around here. I personally don’t care at all, you do you. Here, have another Corona. But some people are starting to talk, and they’re frightened. You went after Nando’s, that’s a big no-no. One of your car doors hit a parked car, an even bigger no-no. Do you know how expensive panel beating is here?
Sorry, I got a bit heated there, please forgive me. Where are you travelling next? I know some really good spots up north that- oh, right, please don’t swear at me. One piece of advice I can give you for free is don’t swim in any rivers. They’re disgusting, unswimmable. What do you mean? We are tidy, they’re still dirty from the last time tourists littered here.
You haven’t actually said what you want. You’ve taken the entire country hostage through dining and dashing – the worst crime – and not caring what we think, but you haven’t set a ransom. Now, as you must already know, there are limits to what I can give you. And I can’t give you anything until you agree to these non-negotiables:
– Please pay for meals when you order them at restaurants
– If you do not wish to pay for your meal, please leave quickly and quietly and without swearing at anyone
– Please put your rubbish in the bins provided
– If you do not wish to put your rubbish in the bins provided , please leave quickly and quietly and without swearing at anyone
If you agree to these conditions we can, in return, offer you:
– 10x Nando’s peri peri sauce sachet
– 1x $40 Whitcoull’s gift card
– 2x AA petrol cards
– 1x signed poster of MAFS NZ contestants
– Morning tea with the prime minister
– A guest spot on 7 Days
– Nationwide front-page coverage of your every movement
If you refuse this offer then I’m sorry but we’ll have no choice but to- Sir, excuse me, Sir, why are you taking your shirt off? Sir, there’s no need to fetch your Bunnings Warehouse hat. I’m sorry, we just want you to be conside-PLEASE JUST TELL US WHAT YOU WANT. WE’LL GIVE YOU ANYTHING. YOU WANT A PIECE OF CHOCOLATE CAKE? HERE’S THE WHOLE THING. YOU WANT LEMONS? HERE’S THE KEY TO MY HOME. TAKE ANYTHING YOU WANT JUST PLEASE DON’T YELL AT US ANY MORE.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.