Driver ha­rasses tourist

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - DAVID MAIDA

NZ Bus has apol­o­gised af­ter one of its driv­ers made in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual com­ments to a teenage girl vis­it­ing from France.

An­drew Par­sons was host­ing the 16-year-old ex­change stu­dent when she bussed from St He­liers to Orakei about 8.30pm one night.

The girl said the bus driver asked if she had a boyfriend and went on to tell her that for­eign stu­dents were easy.

‘‘It went on for most of the trip. My stu­dent said she had two choices – ei­ther get off the bus in the dark or tough it out,’’ Par­sons said.

The girl’s phone bat­tery was flat and she was in a for­eign coun­try so she en­dured the abuse.

Par­sons wrote to NZ Bus and also con­tacted its owner In­fratil. NZ Bus chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer North­ern Shane McMa­hon said he had spo­ken with Par­sons about the in­ci­dent and has dis­ci­plined the bus driver.

McMa­hon said the bus driver’s ac­tions were in­ap­pro­pri­ate and he did not con­done the be­hav­iour in any way.

Par­sons also con­tacted NZTA which wrote him a let­ter say­ing: ‘‘The Trans­port Agency has now con­cluded its re­view of the mat­ter and can ad­vise you that ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion has been taken, and the mat­ter has now been closed.’’

Par­sons con­sid­ered go­ing to the po­lice but the girl in­volved did not want to. She has since gone back to France.

In­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual com­ments were made to a French teenager.

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