Stranded tourists party up in quake-hit Kaikoura, freeload off locals, claims MP

Stranded tourists are drinking and partying through the night causing grief for locals dealing with the quake calamity, an MP claims.

New Zealand First deputy leader Ron Mark says some people initially stranded in the tourist town were now taking advantage of the generosity of locals, receiving free food and hand-outs and partying into the small hours.

About 1000 tourists trapped by Monday's 7.8 earthquake have been flown or shipped out of the region in a major mass evacuation this week.

But Mark said some had more than outstayed their welcome and were causing problems.

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"During a visit by New Zealand First to Kaikoura this morning, we were advised there is some frustration with non-locals and non-emergency helpers who have decided to prolong their stay in the town and are accepting the tremendous generosity of locals.

"Some of these people have been spending their nights drinking and partying."

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He said locals were frustrated and wanted those who weren't part of the community or the rescue effort to leave town.

Mark said the Government needed to step in and instruct police to request those who were "malingering" in Kaikoura to continue their travels before they started over-staying their welcome.

"Kiwis are known as being generous and hospitable - but it only goes so far. These people who are prolonging their stay and receiving free food and hand-outs should be advised to move on."

- NZ Herald

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