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Rowdy tourists praise Māori culture, slam ruthless 'white Kiwis'

Newshub logoNewshub 18/01/2019 Jamie Ensor, Cleo Fraser
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The infamous group of British tourists who caused disruption across the country have praised the Māori culture and slammed "white Kiwis" as ruthless.

On Friday, John Johnson and his father James spoke exclusively to Newshub about the outrage they have faced since a video was posted on Sunday showing the family at Takapuna beach where they are accused of littering and abusing beachgoers.

The family's movements down New Zealand's North Island have been carefully followed by the world's media, with accusations of the group fleeing restaurants without paying bills, causing issues at a Hamilton Burger King, and one of their members of the family being convicted on charges of theft.

While Mr Johnson hit out at Kiwis' reactions, saying the family are living in fear in the mountains north of Wellington, desperate to get home to England but scared to go out in public, he did praise Māori for being welcoming and kind.

"The Māori culture is a beautiful culture and they are the ones that treated us in the right way," he told Newshub.

"The only people that treated us in the right respect were the Māori culture."

© Video - Newshub; Image - Supplied

He also said "white Kiwis" had acted the worst, including on social media where the family have become the target of memes.

"I swear from my heart and soul, I found the Māori people, when people start saying that Māori people are gang members and they are very ruthless, do you want me to tell who the ruthless people is? The ruthless people are the white Kiwis, not the Māori

people."

"At the end of the day, there was not one Māori person on the social media or said anything bad about us."

Mr Johnson noted two instances where he found himself thankful for Māori New Zealanders, including when the group were too scared to go out in public, so they gave a "Māori guy in a car" money to buy them food, water and baby food.

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Another was when Mr Johnson's sister-in-law, Tina Cash, was in custody on two charges of theft.

"When Tina was in the cell, there was a Māori guy who treated her that good and nearly sat crying because of her, and felt so sorry for her."

He said Tina never stole anything, despite pleading guilty in court on Wednesday.

Members of the family have now been served deportation notices by Immigration New Zealand, and Mr Johnson says the family have booked flights out of Wellington next week but they fear they'll be attacked at the airport.

"We felt completely shocked this was appalling, absolutely appalling, that we felt, we actually felt that we had been treated as animals.

"My message to New Zealand is that it's a beautiful country we would never treat your country in this kind of way. It was all a big misunderstanding and I believe we've been treated very badly and I believe that we should be left alone and we're badly bullied."

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