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Not your granny

Published: 5:14PM Wednesday June 23, 2010 Source: Fair Go

Reporter: Gordon Harcourt

Every year Bev Jackson from Otaki takes her daughter and two grandkids away for a treat.

At Waitomo Caves they bought a family pass - two adults, two children.

At Rainbow Springs in Rotorua they bought a family pass - two adults, two children.

At the Rotorua Gondola they bought a family pass - two adults, two children.

But when they visited Paradise Valley Springs in Rotorua - no way, no family pass.  Now why could that be?

If it ain't broke ...

Bev says Paradise Valley Springs told her she didn't count - she's not the 'guardian of the children', and they wouldn't sell her a family pass.

Ordinarily Bev would have turned on her heel, and Paradise Valley Springs would not have enjoyed her family's custom, but Bev's niece and her children were already inside.  So in they went, without a family pass.

Bev was not impressed, and she had a robust email exchange with Stuart Hamlett, owner of Paradise Valley Springs.  He said: "There is no intention to alter this policy as it has been tried and tested over 35 years and as they say if it ain't broke don't fix it!"

Bev thinks it is broke and it should be fixed, so she contacted Fair Go.

What century is this?

We got hold of Stu Hamlett, who wouldn't do an interview but who is sticking to his guns.  Fair enough some might say.  As far as we can see it's his call to make, and there are no rules to break regarding this sort of thing.  But come on Stu!  What century are you in? 

As Bev says, "in this day and age, a family could be two gay people, or two lesbian women with children."

Stu has since changed the wording on his website, and it's now very, very clear: "Family Unit pass - one household of two parents and their two children"

Right, well that's pretty clear isn't it - ridiculously clear, we think.

The Families Commission doesn't comment on specific complaints, but in general they say families define themselves, and it should be "perfectly reasonable" for people who are "related to each other who are going on an outing together ... to have a family pass."

What do you think?
We want to know what you think about this, so email or fax or write to us:
Fax: 09 916 7170
Post: Fair Go
 PO Box 3819

"Did my prunes"

By the way, Bev says when Paradise Valley told her she couldn't get a family pass, she says she "did [her] prunes". 

We get what she meant, but haven't heard the phrase before.  Do you know where it comes from?  If you do, we'd love to hear from you

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