New Zealand: Crowd angry after $100,000 ‘cash drop’ was PR stunt giving away FAKE money

A furious crowd turned on the organisers of a $100,000 ‘cash drop’ after discovering the money raining down on them was fake. 

Safety Warehouse New Zealand promoted the event for weeks before opening up Aotea Square in Auckland on Saturday.

‘We are the people’s company & proud of it, so we’re dropping $100,000 in value from the sky in Aotea Square. Yes, ACTUAL MONEY will be flying from the sky,’ the company wrote.

Some members of the public travelled for hours and spent hundreds of dollars in the hope of grabbing some of the cash.

But the crowd turned violent when they realised the notes falling from the sky were coupons for free or discounted products for personal protective equipment.

But the crowd turned violent when they realised large quantities of notes falling from the sky was 'fake money' (pictured) in the form of coupons for free or discounted products for personal protective equipment

But the crowd turned violent when they realised large quantities of notes falling from the sky was 'fake money' (pictured) in the form of coupons for free or discounted products for personal protective equipment

But the crowd turned violent when they realised large quantities of notes falling from the sky was ‘fake money’ (pictured) in the form of coupons for free or discounted products for personal protective equipment 

Footage captured from the event shows the mob chasing down organisers as they drove away from the event.

Dozens of people can be seen surrounding the car, throwing objects and shouting ‘where’s my money,’ and ‘show me my money’.

Security guards stood arm to arm to keep the crowd from smashing in the windows as they jostled together.

Among the madness children and adults can be seen running around, grabbing at bills on the floor, trying to find real currency.  

According to an attendee someone even threw shoes at the car, before ‘crowds smashed the rear window.’  

The aftermath of the giveaway was live-streamed by Haki Ani TePaea on Facebook.

The mother-of-three shared footage of the angry mob.

Safety Warehouse New Zealand promoted the event for weeks before opening up Aotea Square in Auckland to crowds who had registered for free tickets

Safety Warehouse New Zealand promoted the event for weeks before opening up Aotea Square in Auckland to crowds who had registered for free tickets

Safety Warehouse New Zealand promoted the event for weeks before opening up Aotea Square in Auckland to crowds who had registered for free tickets

The aftermath of the giveaway was live-streamed by Haki Ani TePaea on Facebook. The mother-of-three (pictured) said she was concerned for her children at the event

The aftermath of the giveaway was live-streamed by Haki Ani TePaea on Facebook. The mother-of-three (pictured) said she was concerned for her children at the event

The aftermath of the giveaway was live-streamed by Haki Ani TePaea on Facebook. The mother-of-three (pictured) said she was concerned for her children at the event

‘Look at what money can do to people.’

‘I feel bad as a mother because I had great intentions to come here and have fun today but when they threw out the money it was just ruthless.

‘So many people pushing and shoving and all I could think about was my three babies.’ 

Her daughter then takes the camera and speaks about the injuries her and friends suffered as a result of the event. 

‘They said this was supposed to be a safe environment but I dislocated my shoulder because of all the pushing,’ her daughter says.

‘My friend had to go to hospital because someone stood on her face and it got ripped open.’ 

Footage captured from the event shows the mob chasing down organisers as they drive away from the event

Footage captured from the event shows the mob chasing down organisers as they drive away from the event

Footage captured from the event shows the mob chasing down organisers as they drive away from the event

The scandal has resulted in Safety Warehouse New Zealand deleting their Facebook page after hundreds of angry comments from attendees.

Another create a change.org petition calling on the company to ‘do the right thing’ and exchange the fake money for cash. 

That man was John Murphy who spent $200 on travel and accommodation for the event which turned out to be an ‘absolute disaster’.

‘I wasn’t expecting to come up for a riot but that’s what happened,’ Mr Murphy told Stuff. 

Another attendee forked out $120 to drive from Palmerston North to the event only to be stranded after picking up only coupons. 

Security guards stand arm to arm to keep the crowd from smashing in the windows as they jostle together

Security guards stand arm to arm to keep the crowd from smashing in the windows as they jostle together

Security guards stand arm to arm to keep the crowd from smashing in the windows as they jostle together

Mother Rachael Santos said she was heartbroken so many people had been let down before Christmas.  

‘It wasn’t like there were really rich people there. We were all broke as, that’s the reason we were there,’ she said.

Green MP Richardo Menéndez said he was ‘disgusted’ with the Safety Warehouse for throwing fake money in the mix.  

‘People in need from across the region gathered, clearly hoping their hardship would be alleviated,’ he said. 

‘Some took time off work hoping to come here. When people found out they were receiving fake money things got very unsafe, there were children and elderly in the crowd.’

Safety Warehouse New Zealand promoted the event for weeks before opening up Aotea Square in Auckland to crowds who had registered for free tickets

Safety Warehouse New Zealand promoted the event for weeks before opening up Aotea Square in Auckland to crowds who had registered for free tickets

Safety Warehouse New Zealand promoted the event for weeks before opening up Aotea Square in Auckland to crowds who had registered for free tickets

‘It makes me sick to know the community was taken advantage by the Safety Warehouse and that people were put at risk. 

‘This is a stink thing to do,particularly in times of economic hardship & unemployment.’ 

The director of GreenBack Capital, which owns the Safety Warehouse brand, Andrew Thorn, said the company wanted to give back to the community after strong sales linked to COVID-19. 

We did really well through the Covid period supplying the Australia and NZ market and we simply felt like, why don’t we have an event and have a giveaway?’ he told the New Zealand Herald.  

He said the ‘fake cash’ was printed in addition to the $100,000 cash giveaway.  

‘It was $100,000 in real money, and the fake money discounts on top – I think that was $40,000 [fake money] notes that were printed.’

He said the fake notes offered discounts or free products for recipients to redeem from the company’s website. 

‘Some goods were free – enter a code and it was 100 per cent off. There was a range of things,’ he said.

In the chaos, a number of staff members were injured.

The director of GreenBack Capital, which owns the Safety Warehouse brand, Andrew Thorn, said the company did give away $100,000 as well as around $40,000 worth of fake money

The director of GreenBack Capital, which owns the Safety Warehouse brand, Andrew Thorn, said the company did give away $100,000 as well as around $40,000 worth of fake money

The director of GreenBack Capital, which owns the Safety Warehouse brand, Andrew Thorn, said the company did give away $100,000 as well as around $40,000 worth of fake money

The fake notes (pictured) offered discounts or free products for recipients to redeem from the company's website

The fake notes (pictured) offered discounts or free products for recipients to redeem from the company's website

The fake notes (pictured) offered discounts or free products for recipients to redeem from the company’s website

This included a man inside the car who had to be hospitalised when the back window shattered and glass entered his eyes.   

Auckland Live director Robbie Macrae confirmed the venue had granted organisers use of their space to run the event.

‘Auckland Live issued a venue hireage agreement for this event, based on the event promoter’s application meeting all our requirements’. 

New Zealand’s strict COVID-19 lockdown has plunged the nation into recession for the first time in a decade.

The country, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, saw its economy shrink by a record 12.2 per cent in the June quarter.  

New Zealand went into a strict lockdown on March 25 and emerged from them on June 8 as part of an elimination strategy. 

A shopper makes his way into a store offering a closing down sale in Auckland, New Zealand

A shopper makes his way into a store offering a closing down sale in Auckland, New Zealand

A shopper makes his way into a store offering a closing down sale in Auckland, New Zealand

A relatively deserted Parnell Rise as Aucklanders return to level three lockdown on August 13, 2020

A relatively deserted Parnell Rise as Aucklanders return to level three lockdown on August 13, 2020

A relatively deserted Parnell Rise as Aucklanders return to level three lockdown on August 13, 2020

Figures showed construction activity was down 26 per cent, manufacturing fell by 13 per cent, and household spending was down by 12 per cent when compared with the previous quarter.

Stats NZ spokesman Paul Pascoe said the closure of New Zealand’s borders since March 19 had also had a huge effect of some sectors of the economy.

The national Unemployment rate rose to a record 5.3 per cent in the September quarter.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Safety Warehouse and Auckland live for comment. 

Link hienalouca.com

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