They left litter on an Auckland beach, refused to pay for meals, stole from service stations and have since had threats made on their lives.

It was a whirlwind nine days since the supposed and now infamous "Johnson" clan first hit the headlines.

What began as Auckland woman Krista Curnow's annoyance at the massive amount of rubbish left on Takapuna beach erupted into international headlines and came close to a political dispute with Ireland.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff even dubbed them a "pack of a***holes".


At times the family appeared to be almost talking in riddles; telling the public they're from Ireland yet telling media and authorities they're English. Ask people from either origin and they'll tell you these travellers are from the other.

The Johnsons seemed to relish how confused Kiwis, and every other interested reader around the world, became over their rambunctiousness, which angered locals from Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington.

There was swearing, stealing, threats, claims of intimidation and even a confrontation with Herald and Daily Mail journalists.

The Gypsy Scammers in NZ Facebook page was rollicking with not only sightings, but also threats.

The travellers were also causing concern among the hospitality and tourism industries as reports of their whereabouts spread from town to town.

A Hobbiton spokesman said they had been inundated with "tip-offs" - some even from police - that the group were "20 minutes away" or arriving soon. The news caused a bit of angst and meant ensuring there were appropriate staff at the front counter in case they did turn up.

A man who identified himself to the Herald as 'David Johnson', the brother of 'John Johnson'. Photo / Belinda Feek
A man who identified himself to the Herald as 'David Johnson', the brother of 'John Johnson'. Photo / Belinda Feek

But what of these tourists? Were they travellers, were they British or Irish, why did they leave their rubbish at Takapuna beach, did they refuse to pay for food at several Auckland restaurants?



Well if you ask them they're the Johnson family, a respectable troupe who wouldn't dream of not paying their way or taking something that wasn't theirs. They claim to be related to the 10th richest man in England - he is 27.

The most recognised, who goes by the name John Johnson, told the Herald last week he had been threatened by a man weilding a plank of wood while visiting an Auckland Bunnings store with a relative shortly after the beach visit, and prior to them moving down to Hamilton.

However, unfortunately for them, Facebook offers different details.

"John Johnson" appears to be Joe Doran, while his young wife is Miley Eileen Doran. The pair have a baby and are travelling with Joe's parents, including mum Barbara. His father has often been the driver of their vehicles, especially the green Honda Odyssey which they bought in Hamilton last week.

The pair reportedly have lived in various caravan parks around the East Midlands in the UK.

Travelling separately is Joe's brother, who goes by the name "David Johnson". He is the father of the two young boys and appears to be partner of Tina Cash.

They're not all Dorans though, and the Herald also has personal details of some of the rest of the group who have different last names.


Members of the public at the beach said the rubbish belonged the Dorans. The Dorans, however, later told the Herald they had been intimidated and forced to flee so quickly after being harassed by "dark-skinned" people, they didn't have time to clean up the rubbish.

The infamous tourists talk to Police and Immigration officers at Burger King in Hamilton last week. Photo / Belinda Feek
The infamous tourists talk to Police and Immigration officers at Burger King in Hamilton last week. Photo / Belinda Feek

Joe Doran's nephew, believed to be aged 8, approached Curnow, who was filming them, and threatened to "bash your brains out" for arguing with his uncle.

Joe Doran at Takapuna Beach. Photo / Facebook
Joe Doran at Takapuna Beach. Photo / Facebook


By Tuesday the group had moved on to Hamilton. They were at Burger King Te Rapa about 6am, causing a ruckus, according to staff. Complaining about the food, wanting replacements and engaging in all-round nuisance behaviour.

They returned about 3pm and walked through the drive-thru. Police were called and Immigration then issued four deportation notices.

While there, Cash and an older family member were trading in their vehicles - a late-model Ford Mondeo and their white Mitsubishi L300 van, for the Honda Odyssey.

They were shortly afterwards pulled over by police for not having enough car seats for the two boys and baby in the vehicle.

When questioned by a local resident, the family said they were from Ireland.

Tina Maria Cash, 26, appeared in court the next day and pleaded guilty to two charges of theft. When a relative was asked why she stole cans of Red Bull, rope and sunglasses, she replied "because she wanted to".

She later told media she had "vomited blood" while being held in police custody overnight, awaiting her court appearance.

Joe Doran, a young relative, and his partner Miley Eileen Doran, carrying their baby, head to their car after checking out of the VR Hotel in Hamilton. Photo / Christine Cornege
Joe Doran, a young relative, and his partner Miley Eileen Doran, carrying their baby, head to their car after checking out of the VR Hotel in Hamilton. Photo / Christine Cornege

The group stayed at the Alcamo Motel, Hamilton, that night. A staff member said after not letting them stay on Monday night, she agreed to let them stay on Wednesday. They enjoyed a low-key barbecue at the motel and she did not receive any complaints from other guests.

The following morning, the group ate at McDonald's in Hamilton East before heading to a Caltex service station then dropping the children and partners off at a park on Dominion Rd in the Hamilton suburb of Nawton before two of the men drove around the city.

The group eventually left but not before stopping at another petrol station and making their way south to Wellington via Horahora Rd and Whakamaru.


By the time the last of the group landed in Wellington their cohorts had already made a name for themselves. They were spotted at service stations, with Joe Doran now appearing to sport a new bright-yellow hair colour.

They'd also reportedly trashed a Levin motel, with a spokesperson telling the Daily Mail Australia there were cigarette butts scattered on the ground, empty Red Bull cans thrown around the room and towels bunched up in the shower.

The cleaner also revealed the room was "stinking of poo".


Late Monday night, the group were spotted in a Hunterville service station buying cans of Red Bull. A staff member believed one of them may have also walked off with one can without paying. They were last seen heading north.


The Herald understands there's a possibility some of the clan maybe heading to a town on the East Coast tomorrow.


A British High Commission spokesperson said they couldn't comment on whether they had been contacted by any family members requesting consular assistance due to privacy.

In regards to deportation, the commission could not prevent local authorities from deporting a British national or interfere in criminal or civil court proceedings "because we must respect New Zealand's laws and legal processes as we expect them to respect the UK's laws and legal processes".

"We encourage all British nationals visiting New Zealand to use for resources for a safe and healthy trip."

Honorary Consul-General for Ireland Niamh McMahon said initial media coverage announcing they were Irish caused her countrymen a lot of distress as it wasn't how they normally behaved.

"The focus on country of origin was what upset people. The focus on ethnicity and not the behaviour ... that a group of Irish people were down here and behaving badly."

She said she hadn't personally sighted any passports and would be loathe to get into a debate but could understand the annoyance felt by Kiwis over the tourists' behaviour.

The family are understood to be leaving the country at some point this week.


• Tina Maria Cash arrived in the country on November 29 on a six-month visa. Other family members likely to have landed at or around the same time.
• They have a penchant for service stations and takeaways.
• They drink a lot of Red Bull.
• They're rowdy.
• They tell the public they're Irish, tell media they're British.
• The family deny any wrongdoing, despite Tina Cash being convicted of theft, and CCTV showing what appears to be her children stealing a Christmas tree.
• Most are travelling on United Kingdom passports.
• The man who called himself John Johnson appears to be Joe Doran and is married to Miley Eileen Doran. The couple have a young baby.
• Joe Doran's brother is using the name David Johnson and is the father of the two young, and infamous, boys.
• Five of the family have been issued deportation notices, including Cash.
• The group were travelling in five different vehicles at one point.
• Some are from Croydon, Liverpool, Birmingham, London and its outskirts.
• They have a relative who lives in Auckland.
• Several have left the country.

• Exactly how many are travelling in the group. Estimated to be at least 16, including three young children and a baby.
• All of their names.
• Where they're all from.
• Their connection to the infamous Doran family of the UK.
• Who has been issued deportation notices, apart from Cash.