Outrage over ‘freeloading’ couple
AN AUSTRALIAN man and his partner have been slammed as "freeloaders" after they revealed they travelled New Zealand on the cheap by relying on charity to get by.
Enoch Orious and his German partner Anna Karg said on Instagram they managed to keep expenses low during their travels by eating at soup kitchens and going dumpster diving.
But the issue of the couple lining up along with homeless people for a free meal at a soup kitchen - specifically, the Sisters of Compassion soup kitchen in Wellington - upset a lot of commentators.
"This is disgusting, disrespectful and straight using the system to look and feel good," one person commented on a photo of the couple at the soup kitchen.
"There are thousands of kiwis who are on waiting lists and can't even travel to soup kitchens for their starving children. If you DO NOT NEED to freeload then don't."
Another said: "They're making a choice to be frugal and potentially taking food out of the hands of those genuinely in poverty. They should be embarrassed."
"Please leave our country," another person wrote. "Cool that your all about 'free love' and 'no waste' so am I but why don't you go back to your own country and do that. We already have massive issues with poverty and your taking up our people's food."
Others called the pair "rip-off artists" and accused them of "freeganism".
"I don't care what nationality they are, they are being bludgers and need to grow up and take responsibility for themselves," one person said.
Even a Wellington city councillor shared his outrage on the issue, saying soup kitchens weren't for tourists, the New Zealand Herald reported.
"I don't think it's appropriate to be using soup kitchens or social services just because you want to be able to travel around on the cheap," Brian Dawson told NewstalkZB.
Mr Dawson said it would be different if the tourists were actively volunteering in exchange for food.
In light of the backlash, Mr Orious and Ms Karg, both 25, have taken to their Facebook page to defend themselves hit out against the "nasty comments" and "racism" they'd been subjected to.
"We received some really nasty comments of people wishing us death or being very nationalistic about Anna being from Germany," the pair wrote.
"Please stop threatening people's lives and please stop racism and nationalism or any kind of hate. That's the true crime."
The couple also revealed they had started volunteering at a food waste redistribution charity in Wellington.
"Enoch is born in Australia and has been living here for most of his life. He has been working in NZ for over ten years and Anna has been spending several thousand euro when she was in NZ for the first time a couple of years ago," the couple wrote.
They also said people shouldn't blame them, but blame "the system".
"Open your eyes and see that we are not the reason for your suffering or your hurting," they wrote.
"We are all just puppets in this game. Your taxes get taken from you if you want it or not and distributed to many places. We both have been working before, we both have been part of it.
"If you really want to be angry at somebody, don't blame us - blame the system."
It's not the first time tourists have sparked outrage for relying on freebies to fund their travels.
Last year, Thailand announced it would crack down on "beg-packers" - shameless Western backpackers begging for travel money on the streets of South-East Asia.