Waitangi Day Pub Crawl in London

Kate Newton at Stuff reports:

A urinating mob of “drunk Kiwis wreaking alcohol-fuelled havoc on the streets of London” has sparked a complaint to the New Zealand High Commission.

Not sure what they can do about it.

It’s a rite of passage for thousands of young Kiwis on their great OE. But this year’s annual Waitangi Day London pub crawl has sparked derision and disgust.

Kiwi Dylan Clements says up to 1500 drunken New Zealanders took to the streets on Saturday in a shameful display of debauchery.

He has filed a complaint with New Zealand High Commissioner Derek Leask, saying their antics brought “great shame” on New Zealand.

Mr Clements, 28, said he watched participants urinating and vomiting on famous religious landmarks, including Westminster Abbey and the historic Jewel Tower, and exposing themselves indecently on the street.

Others sculled alcohol on the Tube, intimidated Londoners and assaulted Korean tourists with snowballs during the marathon boozing session.

But kiwis who attended the annual event say everyone was in good spirits, generally well behaved and respectful of police and other Londoners.

The Waitangi Day pub crawl is a fun tradition. However vomiting on Westminster Abbey is a no no, as is exposing yourself. If they occurred, they sounds like isolated incidents. You can take part in a pub crawl, get very merry, but still not be so “wasted” that you do such stupid stuff.

On a website set up to promote the pub crawl, Clint Heine said he met police before the event and they were present on the day to keep an eye on things.

He said he had received feedback from police saying there had been a “few minor hiccups” with litter and public urination, but it was expected.

Yesterday, on the pub crawl’s Facebook page, participants said police had told them they were a “well-behaved bunch”.

It sounds like Mr Clements may be over-egging things.

Krystle Field said it was the first time she had truly celebrated Waitangi Day and was proud to take part.

“At home it is such a negative day full of politics, protesting and drama and is just seen as another public holiday to many. In London it makes us all patriotic and we celebrate by dressing up in kiwiana costumes,” the 26-year-old said.

Well said.

It is interesting that Mr Clements was complaining about the pub crawl on Facebook, even before it had happened.

The media have all reported this as a major story, based on one person’s complaint. What is interesting is that the UK media (you know where it actually occurred) have run no negative stories at all on it. So the Police had no problem with it. The local media have only had good stories on it. Is the fact one person complains, meritorious of massive headlines in NZ?

Some photos from the pub crawl are here and here. Some great costumes. Even more here.

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