The 16,000 residents of Lower Hutt, New Zealand learned the meaning of “demoralizing” this week. The owner of the Palmerston North Supreme Motor Lodge (an Australian) has prohibited the people of Lower Hutt from staying at his motel. I’ve been banned from some pretty nice places … nice. If some motel gave me the boot, I’d be humiliated.
Guests from Lower Hutt – and the nearby larger town of Wainuiomata – aren’t worth the headache, said Steve Donnelly, owner of the property. A bunch of midemeanors by visiting high school sports teams triggered the decision, but it seems to have been a long time in the making. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “Having had about 100 people from there over the last couple of years and maybe one that we liked … it is not worth it and we would do the same to anyone who causes us that level of stress.”
Wainuiomata Indoor Sports Club stands accused of finally having pushed Donnelly over the edge, though club owner Calena Hura denies any wrongdoing. The principal of Wainuiomata, Rob Mill, blames the motel management (as Hura does).
So, how does the community fight back: people threaten to stay at the motel for a week!