Mayor disagrees with Queen St warning
Fri, 29 Jun 2012 6:29p.m.
By Alex Bourn
Japanese tourists visiting Auckland are being warned away from Queen St. New Zealand’s Japanese Society says it's just too dangerous after dark.
A typical Friday night sees Auckland’s most famous street become a thoroughfare for fighting drunks.
It's a far cry from the image this country is selling to Japanese tourists.
“They see a blue sky with rolling hills with white sheep, and naturally it makes it peaceful,” says president of the Japanese Society Masa Sekikawa. “So in their mind, when they come here, the day they arrive it is a peaceful, safe place to visit. But in fact there are places that you should not go.”
Auckland's Japanese Society says Queen St is one of those places, telling members and visitors from home to avoid unnecessary trips at night.
“I just worry about the tourists and young people who work very hard at night, especially in restaurants and the entertainment industry, and when they finish work at 10 or 11 at night, they have to walk up to their apartments. Now those people have to be cautious from now on.”
In March, a Japanese visitor on a working-holiday visa was sexually attacked by a drunk man as she walked home.
Two months later, a Japanese man was punched in the CBD before having his bag stolen.
Auckland mayor Len Brown has seen for himself the problems with Queen Street. But he doesn't agree with the Japanese warning.
“You will meet the odd idiot, so use your common sense,” says the mayor. “Think about where you're going and how you're going and just understand that if you're a new visitor to this city use that common sense.”
Mr Sekikawa hopes to translate the advisory into other languages so more overseas visitors become aware of what Queen Str is really like after dark.
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30/06/2012 7:18:43 a.m.
For a tourist Japan is safe, and almost any country on the planet in comparison is more dangerous. The difference is Japan still has social morals which sadly are lacking in New Zealand or any other country like Australia, England, the US etc. 99.99% of tourists to Japan leave thinking it is the safest place in the world. The same cannot be said for Japanese travelling overseas. As the Japanese are generally too trusting due to the safety of their own country a warning is appropriate. Ignorance from the Auckland mayor about Japanese people is not going to help the situation but working to make New Zealand as safe as Japan could do wonders for its image worldwide. If New Zealand loses it green clean safe image then expect fallout.
30/06/2012 12:02:35 a.m.
Instead of assuring people to control these kinds activities..... Mayor talking to use their common sense is "SHAME"......Drinking in street and allowing people to be drunk on restaurant, pubs and bars are not acceptable and where is Liquor inspectors....having sleep...
29/06/2012 7:24:49 p.m.
It used to be quite safe when the previous mayor cracked down on drinking in the streets and boy racers, but it sadly seems to have gone downhill again....
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