Backpacker's Facebook post for farm work sparks sleazy comments

Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 19 February 2019, 11:02a.m.
The backpacker's social media post received sexist and sleazy comments. (Photo / Screenshot)

A young backpacker's innocent social media post looking for local farm work in New Zealand has taken a nasty turn.

The Finnish woman took to NZ Farming's Facebook page to post a selfie of herself in work clothes describing herself as a "hardworking farmhand/machine operator" with a farming background and looking for work.

The Finnish woman took to NZ Farming's Facebook page saying she would soon be moving to NZ. Photo / via Facebook

In the post, the 28-year-old said she had been working in Australia for two years, mostly recently on the runway at Brisbane Airport and was now moving to New Zealand in two weeks' time.

"I am reliable, hardworking and fit due to my background in personal training. I am motivated and work with common sense and always up for a challenge.

"I'm great with animals and operating machinery, I have a driver's licence and will buy a car asap when I get to NZ. I'm looking to fly to Auckland but willing to move anywhere in New Zealand."

The woman listed her previous experience as machine operator, cattle work and horse grooming.

The social media post received 1600 comments, most commenting on her looks.

NZ Farming had to intervene with the moderator telling users to "get your minds out of the gutter".

"Come on guys. This was a genuine advertisement sent to our in box by an international traveller coming to our country to visit New Zealand and wanting to find some agricultural work while here," the moderator wrote.

"Get your minds out of the gutter and show some respect. If you don't have a suitable employment offer keep your comments to yourselves."

NZ Farming spokesperson Duncan Humm told Heather du Plessis-Allan he's not surprised at some of the sleazy comments. 

"Probably half the comments were pretty average, and we did delete a few, the more aggressive ones. In the end, the most interesting thing to me was that the comments came from men and women." 

However, he says that other Facebook pages from outside the country environment were as inappropriate. 

"It's not just a rural problem. It doesn't matter where the stories from, it has the same sort of response."

Humm says that when he spoke with the backpacker, she said that she had had to deal with it in Australia and did not seem very offended. 

"She wasn't surprised."

He says that it was a small proportion of their followers that made the derogatory comments. 

Comments ranged from mild or complimentary through to indecent and sleazy.

"Bugger New Zealand come to Scotland al give u a job," one user wrote.

"Send me a copy of your CV and I'll just quickly nip out and buy a farm," another said.

One user described the string of inappropriate comments as a "cringefest".

"Disgusting though ... no wonder there are quite a few single men in our rural communities!!"

Some users questioned why the page had published her photo in the advertisement in the first place.

"We are forever asking people to supply a photo when they are placing a listing and this just goes to show why. More eyes = more chances of being hired," the moderator said.

Amid the sea of lewd comments, the post seemed to include some genuine job offers.

NZ Farming is a general farming forum with a jobs section.




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