When Defending Territory Goes too Far… 3 Surfers Shot at in New Zealand

Last week, three surfers (two adults and a 14 year old) were subjected to bullets at an “invite only” beach in New Zealand. Located on the Taharoa Coast, they had been surfing at Te Maika point. The beach is known to be a locals only spot where outsiders are severely unwelcome. According to, The Guardian, the incident is being investigated as localism “… in which residents resent the presence of tourists or outsiders at local beaches or breaks without their invitation”.

The beach has had previous acts of “localism” occur in the past where a fisherman was shot at for fishing in the area.

The surfers knew that they were being targeted when they saw two individuals on the bank yelling profoundly at them. The police are investigating the identities of the two individuals are as they are still unknown. The victims were physically unharmed but the incident provokes a lot of unanswered questions.

How far is too far when it comes to defending your territory?

It’s easier than ever to ‘live like a local’ and visit spots that are typically remote and private.  In turn, these areas are being completely exploited which is creating severe impacts on these environments. It’s evident that locals want to protect their beloved land and loads of tourists often bring about such exploitation, however, what constitutes crossing the line?

Is it just for us to blame social media for the exploitation of these private places?

Geotags and hashtags allow social users to instantly share their locations with their followers and is making it incredibly simple to find out the location of just about any photograph online. The ease of access to locations seems great in theory, but by us encouraging people to share their locations are we simply provoking exploitation?

Let us know your thoughts.


For the full article by The Guardian click here

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