Sunday, January 17, 2010

Donkey smuggling for pleasure and profit

He says he's an authentic Maori, with a moko scrawled on his face in black marker pen. And for $5 - and using your own camera - you too can have your photograph taken with John Kairau.

Authorities say he's an opportunist but Kairau says his scheme - in which tourists pay to have their photograph taken with a "Maori in traditional dress" - is for cultural rather than financial reasons.
Somehow, John Kairu reminds me of los cebra-burros famosos de Tijuana, which of course are painted. These in turn remind me of the painted donkeys of Gaza City, victims of the Israeli embargo: "A genuine zebra would have been too expensive to bring into the Gaza Strip via smuggling tunnels under the border with Egypt, said owner Mohammed Bargouthi." Verily, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a zebra to go through a tunnel.

Here's the best little band ever, the Small Faces, with PP Arnold:


Robyn said...

A rep from Tourism Auckland sez:

"Because he is not an employee of ours we have no control over quality."

Tips for tourists.
Before giving $5 to have your photo taken with a Maoriman, ask yourself:

- Is he a quality Maori?
- Does he greet you with a cheery "kia ora"?
- Will he throw in a haka for free with groups of four or more?
- Will he happily direct you to the nearest public whare paku or toilet for only 50c?
- Will he issue a GST receipt?

Stephen Stratford said...

PP Arnold ( was and is amazing. "The First Cut is the Deepest", "Angel of the Morning" etc. More recently she did backing vocals for Roger Waters and a couple of years ago there was a well-received album she made with Dr Robert of the Blow Monkeys, "Five in the Afternoon".

She also recorded with Oasis, but nobody is perfect.

Paul said...

She is, indeed, amazing.

Ethan Tucker said...

Perhaps he's taken a leaf out of the book of 2009's delightful marker pen disguise burglars? Obviously they were onto something.