A pair of tourists travelling New Zealand with the aim of not using money to get by have been relying on charities such as soup kitchens, and some dumpster diving, to make it work.

German tourist Anna Karg​ and partner Enoch​ Orious​ left Auckland two weeks ago and have not had to resort to using money in their bid to see the country.

But a Wellington city councillor says the soup kitchen is not there for tourists trying to travel on the cheap.

Social Development portfolio leader Brian Dawson told NewstalkZB they should not be taking advantage of the system.


"I don't think it's appropriate to be using soup kitchens or social services just because you want to be able to travel around on the cheap," he said.

He did not have a problem with tourists who offered help in places like soup kitchens in exchange for food, he said.

"That's a whole different story and I am OK with that."

Day 13: We believe in the night. Arriving at the #soupkitchen in #wellington after the #darknight, we ran into this funny and intelligent guy named Pete. Anna had met him at #waitangipark the other day while having a moment at the waterfront. He was making sure everything was alright and they had a short but deep conversation about society. We all ended up sitting at the same table while having #coffee and a delicious #vegetarian soup with bread. We were so thankful for that warming start to the day and are deeply inspired by Eru (who is a #socialworker) and all his #volunteers working there. Keep up the great work - it's people like you that make the world a better place! 💛💛 Pete walked us to the #library and enjoyed the beautiful morning sun with us. At the moment, he is living in his car and even though #thesystem hasn't treated him very good, he is one of the happiest and funniest people we have got to know. He just stopped drinking alcohol and is full of energy and life. He understood some time ago that there is nothing more important than to #enjoyeveryday no matter how much you own. It's not having what you want - it's wanting what you've got! The day before, Enoch found 50 dollars while checking out a supermarket for #foodscraps. We were pretty amused about the irony of this situation and decided straight away to not keep it but give it to someone who truly needs it. So when we met Pete again, who treated us like friends straight away and who tried to help us like family, we gave him this valuable paper. He couldn't believe his luck but eventually accepted our gift humbly. No reason to feel bad, brother, #whatgoesaround comes around - you deserve it! We don't intend to blow our own trumpets as Samaritans, we just want to show that giving a little means a lot to anybody. So #sharethelove because #sharingiscaring 💛💛 #freefrommoney #travelwithoutmoney #livingwithoutmoney #spreadthelove #love #peace #equality #backpacking #truewealth #forgetaboutthepricetag #inspiration #ghettogospel #spirituality #faith

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But he told NewstalkZB he preferred that those with a genuine need take priority.

Wellington's Sisters of Compassion Soup Kitchen manager Karen Holland told NewstalkZB she did not view the tourists differently to any of the other guests.

"I don't feel any differently towards the backpackers, if they came in, than I do towards any of the whanau that come and eat at the soup kitchen," she said.

"We operate on the principle of manaakitanga where we offer hospitality to whoever comes, we ask no questions, and we treat everybody with a great deal of respect.

"We work to enable people to live with dignity in the community."

The kitchen operated on the principle of koha and when people had money it was asked that they respected that, she said.

But she told NewstalkZB she could understand how Wellingtonians might feel about it.

"They are designed for people in need and, yes, I can understand why people are upset about it," she said.

"I think it's because that the people of Wellington hold the Compassion Soup Kitchen quite close to their heart - they donate to it, they care about it and they are really appreciative of the mahi that's done here at this place.

"And I think that they feel that it is a sign of disrespect when people that can afford to buy food come and take advantage - but we at the soup kitchen can't allow ourselves to feel that way."

At the soup kitchen they did not judge anyone, she said.