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Davis: Vulnerable Kiwis And Tourists Must Be Protected

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Kelvin Davis
Kelvin Davis

Potentially risky unlicensed taxi services need to be stamped on before an innocent and vulnerable Kiwi or tourist is attacked or robbed, says Labour Tourism and Associate Maori spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

Commenting on New Zealand Transport Agency concern that an unlicensed Hamilton service called 'Bro Rydz' is going into bars and offering drunken students cheap rides home for $10, Kelvin Davis said the practice needs to be stopped before a serious incident occurred.

"There's a huge difference between what's apparently happening in Hamilton and what happens with reputable dial-a-driver services around the country, for example.

"In rural areas community organisations also offer special dial-a-driver or flat rate services where no taxis are available, but such services are for good causes and no one needs to be concerned about them," Kelvin Davis said.

"But if simply anyone thinks they can solicit clients for a flat rate it will only be a matter of time before some deviant sees this as an opportunity to prey on unsuspecting or intoxicated Kiwis and tourists.

"For the sake of our tourism industry, and the protection of women and young people in particular, this situation needs to be policed," Kelvin Davis said.

"I can understand why some desperate Kiwis, struggling to make ends meet in an economy that has no focus on jobs or on helping those who most need it, might turn to 'jobs' like this to help feed themselves and their families. The Government doesn't care about them, so they have to fend for themselves.

"But the reality is that there will be rogues among the genuine ones who are trying to do whatever they can to earn a bit of cash. We can't afford to take the risk that already vulnerable customers will be put at even greater threat.

"Taxi drivers undergo official vetting as to their suitability. There's a good reason for that. We cannot allow the opportunity for unlicensed and unscrupulous operators to prey on tourists and the vulnerable."

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