Mayor issues a warning as unruly tourists head for Levin

The infamous travellers talk to Police and Immigration officers in Hamilton. Photo: NZ Herald
The infamous travellers talk to Police and Immigration officers in Hamilton yesterday. Photo: NZ Herald
Members of a group of British tourists under fire for their unruly behaviour in Auckland and Hamilton appear to have split up, with some now in Levin.

While some family members remain in Hamilton today, one carload of the group spent last night at a Levin motel.

The owner of a Levin motel, who asked not to be named, confirmed his overnight guests were at least part of the group. The confirmed sighting has prompted the mayor of Levin to issue a warning to residents and businesses.

The Levin motelier said members of the group had arrived on Wednesday night - and true to form tried three times to talk him down in price.

They checked in for five people, but he believed more may have stayed.

"They just kept getting out of the car," he said.

However, he said they had behaved themselves and been "pretty quiet".

Three of the group were seen loading up a slightly rough looking Honda Odyssey this morning.

The rooms didn't appear to be damaged or trashed when they left.

The motel owner thought they were probably trying to keep a low profile.

"I didn't see any nastiness but, if you do, you have to meet it with kindness," he said.

Levin Mayor Michael Feyen urged businesses and residents to keep an eye out for the unruly travellers - and to call the police if there were any problems.

"They're obviously people we don't really want in the country...they just sound like a disturbed family and I wonder how all of them got into the country," Feyen said.

"I just say to people of Levin to keep a wary eye, to look after our own place and make sure they don't shoplift in our shops or chuck their rubbish everywhere around."

Feyen said there was positive side to the group being in Levin.

"I'm glad that we know they're here in Levin, so a better eye can be kept on them," Feyen said.

"If [locals] don't like what they see, give the police a call immediately. I'm sure nationally the police would have been given some notice about these people.

Making headlines around the world
The travellers have made headlines around the world since a video emerged of rubbish being strewn on a Takapuna Beach reserve. Bystanders asked the group to tidy the mess but were abused and threatened.

It has since emerged the group arrived in New Zealand on December 29. There have been several accounts of members refusing to pay for food or services, hectoring hospitality staff and claiming their food had been contaminated by ants or hair.

On Wednesday, a 26-year-old female member of the group pleaded guilty in the Hamilton District Court to stealing energy drinks, a rope and sunglasses from an Auckland service station on two separate occasions.

The court heard Tina Maria Cash stole a can of Red Bull from a Caltex service station at Albany on December 31.

At the same time another woman she was with hid a bottle of Primo milk under her dressing gown while paying for a packet of cigarettes.

Cash allegedly waited at the door until the service station assistant was distracted serving the other woman and left with the can of Red Bull.

The other woman allegedly did not pay for the Primo.

On January 3, Cash allegedly returned to the Caltex with her children and stole more Red Bull, rope and sunglasses valued at $50.

Her lawyer told the court she does not remember the incident, but accepts the theft was caught on CCTV video.

She has been convicted and ordered to pay $55 in reparation.

Outside the court, members of the group shouted at media and the public, some of whom also shouted at the tourists.

As the group walked away, a young boy raised his middle finger at the onlookers.

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