Dodgy names make a hash of major event planned for Q’town

Is it a thousands-strong horde of misogynist homophobes or a group of harmless social runners that like a laugh, a drink and a good time, coming to Queenstown for a major event next March?

That’s the question that needs to be asked when viewing the list of more than 2000 participants from all over the world registered for New
Zealand Interhash 2024, the premier event on the Hash House Harriers global calendar.

It’s due to hit the resort from March 8 to 10 next year.

As is custom with the harriers, runners used their ‘hash name’ when registering themselves.

But many of the monikers make for alarming reading.

‘Rape thy neighbour’, ‘Giveherone’, ‘Inspect Her Gadget’, ‘Paedophile Paedophile’, ‘50 Shades of Gay’ and ‘Anal Adventure’ are a very small, barely publishable sample of the thousands of in appropriate names participants registered.

Many more are far too blue for Mountain Scene to publish.

The majority of the more in appropriate names came from American entrants.

One small grace is the list of registrations is no longer publicly available on the NZ Interhash 2024 website — Scene obtained them via a web retrieval site.

Names ‘not meant to cause offence’

Interhash is using the Queenstown council-owned Queenstown Events Centre as its hub during the event, the venue hosting dinners for participants over each of the event’s three nights.

Council sport and recreation manager Simon Battrick, who manages the centre, says the inappropriate names are a concern.

‘Concerning: Queenstown council’s sport and rec boss Simon Battrick

‘‘Using those types of names is not something we would particularly endorse,” he says.

‘‘Ultimately that’s up to the organisers to sort out, not really council.

‘‘From an economic point of view it’s obviously a big event for the town.

‘‘Queenstown’s reputation as a party town means we have a lot of these types of events on.’’

Scene is aware of accommodation providers who have turned down bookings from participants because they didn’t want to be associated with the distasteful names.

Sergeant Tracy Haggart, Queenstown police’s family harm coordinator, says: “Police find some of the names inappropriate and have concerns that victims of sexual assaults would be offended by these.

“It is up to the event organisers to progress any further around acceptable team names.”

But NZ Hash House Harriers GM and Interhash event chairman Jack Lyness says the names are ‘‘tongue in cheek and not meant to cause offence’’.

“My name is ‘Fee Fi Foe Fum’ because I’m a large Englishman.

“We have no control over the overseas clubs and how they name people.

‘‘The Americans have taken a lean to slightly more crass [names], but that’s no reflection on them as people.

‘‘I can understand how it might raise eyebrows, and to be honest the names, to a point, are supposed to raise eyebrows.’’

Lyness says the custom of giving everyone a nickname began when Hash Harriers first started in Kuala Lumpur in 1938 when soldiers would go for a run from the hash (meal) house to work up an appetite and a thirst.

“They were not allowed outside the compound and gave each other nicknames just in case they got caught,” he says.

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