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NZ develops reputation for 'petty crime'

Hon. David Carter MP
National Party Tourism Spokesman

20 July 2006

NZ develops reputation for ‘petty crime’

National Party Tourism spokesman David Carter is disappointed New Zealand has been named as one of the world’s riskiest tourist destinations.

“New Zealand appears to be developing a reputation for petty crime and dodgy roads.”

Mr Carter is referring to a British travel insurance company survey which reveals tourists returning from New Zealand made the fourth highest number of claims for theft and traffic accidents.

“Perhaps if the Government had set sensible police priorities earlier, we could have dealt with this poor perception. And if the roading crisis had been taken seriously, we’d have fewer accidents.

“Police should have been catching criminals instead of filling ticket quotas. Then perhaps, more tourists could have been saved from becoming the victims of petty crime in New Zealand.”

Mr Carter also notes that it's only recently that Labour has been shamed into instructing the police to focus on accident black-spots rather than high traffic areas.

“If you want to stop foreign drivers crashing, you should be stationed at the spots where the crashes actually occur.

“Tourism is now vital to the New Zealand economy. With international visitor numbers flattening, we can not afford to have our image sullied by a perception of lawlessness and petty crime,” says Mr Carter.

ENDS

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