Michael Dickison at NZ Herald reports:
Auckland City Mission leaders say they were not aware of foreign tour groups at their Christmas lunch and have called for any “irresponsible” operator who may have sent one to offer a donation.
About 2800 people gathered at the Viaduct Events Centre on Tuesday for the charity lunch, with most guests arriving with tickets. About 200 people without tickets were let in after them.
TVNZ reported on Christmas Day that “a smattering of Chinese tourists on organised tours” had arrived, and showed city missioner Diane Robertson saying: “If somebody’s turned up and is now looking at … how we care for people, I’m not worried about that.”
An outburst of concern followed online and on talkback radio. Several people said any such tour operators were taking advantage of Christmas charity.
You can just imagine them – “Oh there’s a free Xmas lunch at the Viaduct – we’ll include that in the tour!”.
It reminds me of when VUWSA started handing out free cash to students in the form of hardship grants. They were surprised when demand exceeded supply, and every year reported they needed more money to hand out to students, as more and more students found they had a need for free cash. This proved that more and more students were living in poverty it was claimed. i think it proved that more and more students are quite clever.
That’s not to take anything away from the great work done by the City Missions. they are wonderful institutions that I have collected for in the past. But it does show that there are always some people who will take advantage of generosity.