Illegal accommodation around Motueka / Mapua – Backpacker Tips


Also in New Zealand, unfortunately there are some things to be warned about when travelling. Today I want to warn you about something that is happening around Motueka/Mapua and surroundings. Please read carefully and report to us or the Tasman district council if you know that place.


Job Search and Working Hostels

You're on a job search and find an ad on backpackerboard.co.nz or on Facebook. There it is promised work for you if you take the accommodation on that place, but in addition you will also be told directly that you should deliver a small amount every week for the recruitment of the work. At least here you should say no. But if you did not say no, then I'll share a story with you now. You probably already know this story and if you don’t, you will hopefully not get to know it while travelling New Zealand.


Accomodation near Mapua/Motueka

There is accommodation in Mapua near Motueka, which pretends to be a working hostel or a cheap working campground. Cheap accommodation or space for your car, transferring work and just that you make a contribution to the employment agency every week. The first things are normal for a working hostel, but paying for mediation is not normal and you shouldn’t do that.


Camping permit

Then it is the case that campsites or hostels have to fulfill certain criteria in order to obtain a campground or hostel license. This license includes standard stuff, such as toilets suitable for the number of people staying, water supply, showers and what else is needed to sanitary facilities. Everything else is quite flexible but these things are the minimum to get a valied license. Most of the time, this license you can find on a place that is easily visible, such as the office or the kitchen. If a place does not have a visible, valid license, then ask for this license. If there is no license, the accommodation is not legal and you can also report it to the police or better the council.

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Accommodation near Motueka in Mapua

Well, in Mapua, near Motueka, there is a place where many backpackers live, in the car or old rundown rooms. There are too few toilets and sanitary facilities, a license I could not find so far. Then every week you pay a relatively high amount for camping or accommodation. The property is a simple farmhouse with poor insulation and partially leaky windows. In addition, the amount for the employment agency contract is high as well. In the main season temporarily live up to 40 (maybe more) people there. With minimal sanitary facilities and everyone pays money to them. All in all, 150 to 200 NZD a week come together so quickly. That's too much and the owner makes a nice life on giving you illegal space. For example on other campgrounds we were able to get a weekly rate between 50 to 150 NZD per Week. Including Wifi, hot showers and a kittchen.

To have a sum in mind. In high season, where there is a lot of work, 40 people pay about 6000 NZD per week. That's a nice sum and explains why it's done by her.


Photo by Skyler Smith on Unsplash


What you should do

If you recognize yourself or know this place already, leave it as fast as you can! Talk to your employer first. Usually it is not a problem to keep the job (if you want it) and just look for another place to stay over night.


NEVER sign up a contract for your bank account, it's a favorite because you'll automatically be deducted from the account every week and will not be able to do anything about it. Even the bank can’t stop it because you signed a contract.


Do nothing to help support people who are not behaving properly

It's annoying that I have to write such an article, but any backpacker who doesn’t dare to say anything against, supports these people who take out backpackers. They make a nice life at our expense and on our hard work.

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Normal costs of a working hostel

It is clear that an accommodation must cost and depending on the location and sometimes easier campsites cost relatively much. But don’t be fooled! Normal working hostels with rooms cost 100-150 NZD per week, but there is no money required for the arrangement of the job, as it is already included. This money pays in case of doubt, the employer, if there should be anything for the mediation. Otherwise, the working hostel lives from his rooms are full and the farmers ask for people. So please don’t stay there or sign up for a contract with her.


Please report if you find yourself in this story

You recognize yourself? I appreciate your comment, no matter if it's a supplement or just a confirmation of the story. Or better, please report. Write a comment including when did you stay, how many other people stayed there, how much money did you pay per day/week, did you get a job, how much did you have to pay for getting the job? Really important informations that we will forward to the city council until it’s legal or she was made responsible for her doings. Thank you very much!




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