According to the NZ Herald, there has been a 2nd attack upon some fur seals at Kaikoura, on the Northern tip of the Southern Island of NZ. I visited those seals about a year ago. Some idiots have come along and killed about 20 of them. What was interesting was the fact that there is apparently a waterfall in the area where the seals swim. This would have been a great attraction to visit if I had known about it.
I have seen a great many cases of animal cruelty in NZ in the last 2 years I have been here. There are far more cases that in Australia. I attribute this to two issues:
1. The more collectivist (socialistic) ethic of NZ
2. The higher incidence of child abuse, such that animal abuse is a practical extension
3. The high incidence of peer pressure-yobbo-loutish behaviour by youths drinking alcohol
4. Low population of NZ, which makes the place a little boring for youths. There is not much of a business culture, and this might be explained by the lack of opportunities for a small, isolated island population offering little in the way of investment or job opportunities. Small businesses have little opportunity to expand with minimal population growth. Everyone is taking off to Australia.
6. The high legal allowances for drinking - 9 beers in the first 2 hours compared to 4 in Australia.
Ethics is the big issue as far as I am concerned. The other issues merely provide the specific context in which crimes occur. There are a number of things that foreigners come to NZ for, and I would think chief among their list are the following - but maybe NZ is simply burning its bridges:
1. Natural settings - the mountain vistas, the wildlife, the trails - Sadly there are too few trails to walk along, or roads to access remote regions. There is a lack of public toilets.
2. Cultural settings - English gardens, cafes - lovely and reasonably priced, often free gardens. I wish more cafes had free wifi. Shopping malls food courts are pretty dirty since no one cleans the tables, or the spilt drinks, etc.
3. Small towns, low population - They are still pleasant - just avoid the drunken youths around and in the bars. I never see gang members in NZ, except whizzing past on their Harley's.
4. Friendly people - they are friendly and related, just avoid the drunken louts at night and on the road, or when your illegally camping in some campervan by the beach.
5. Low cost - Less so with the increase in the GST, but aided by new low-cost flights from Asia with Air Asia X.
The cruelty is a low note to end on, so let me take it a little lower. NZ has a pretty bad crime rate. Most news seems to be punctuated by animal stories - whether its a seal being clubbed or sighted, or the murder of someone working home...usually from a pub. Other than that the news is about Australia and politicians. Little surprise 40,000 New Zealanders are escaping to Australia each year. It makes you wonder - is NZ's problem perceptions or the people. I hope you stay long enough to find out because it is a beautiful country.