One of my guilty pleasures is reading Facebook community group posts.

I relish in the vague-booking, outrage and vigilantism as well as the odd touching community moment and slice of useful information.

I love it all so much that I have argued my way back into my favourite local group twice after being kicked out for posts that were too overtly journalistic.

The posts I most enjoy are when the community finds a way to blame any instance of bad behaviour on visitors, tourists and out-of-towners. It can even extend to new residents, on occasion.


Slow drivers = tourists on holiday.

Burglaries = visiting criminals.

Messy bonfire remains = teens from Elsewhere.

Dumped rubbish = lazy campers.

Why not blame them? It's an easy point of view to espouse in an echo chamber where locals are hardly going to rush to claim these ratbags as our own.

Add to that New Zealand's rich history of badly-behaved tourists.

This week a potty-mouthed UK group were dubbed the 'holidaymakers from hell' after causing a stir in Auckland and Hamilton. Among the allegations levelled at them were verbal abuse, littering and scamming eateries.

Also this week: The curious case of the dunes pooper in the Bay of Plenty.


It started when someone reported (on Facebook, of course) that their dog had rolled in a human turd - identified as such by the nearby toilet paper - left in a beachside reserve frequented by freedom campers.

A grand old time was had on Facebook roasting freedom campers in general.

That was, until a few days later when someone else caught a fisherman in the act, loo roll in hand. The case was suddenly less cut and dried.

More often than not, the blame-the-visitors bandwagon is towed by speculation alone. And I just can't see the point of it.

Sometimes it might be right and sometimes it might be wrong but either way, where does it get us?

We have our moan and pat ourselves on the back that no one we know - no local - would ever do such a thing.

It would be nice to think that these sorts of people don't live among us, but they do. The slow drivers, the burglars, the litterers. Some of you know them.

Automatically blaming misdeeds on visitors, rather than addressing the rot in our own back yard, is a cop out.

It is just a way to relieve ourselves (no pun intended) of the responsibility of upholding our community standards.