Say the words "New Zealand" and two things spring to mind.
One is that it's a bucolic backwater highly attractive to post-apocalyptically minded billionaires like Peter Thiel, the infamous contrarian who views the hobbit-infested hinterland as just the place to live out the end times in an isolated bunker nursing his singular eternity under a verdant hillock.
The other is rugby.
But a recent spate of high-profile crime sprees may be giving Thiel (and our rugby teams) pause. Is the passport and the exit strategy really all it is cracked up to be? And really, I feel Thiel should think very carefully because the rogue, gangster-like behaviour recently exposed would make anyone second guess the long-term stability of the Kiwis.
In a dramatic crackdown, Auckland police arrested two reprobates with a boot-load of hard cash, empty bankies and - the real kicker and only actual contraband that was the reason behind the law breaking - three giant tubs of KFC with coleslaw for 12 people and an unspecified quantity of fries.
Police reported that "officers noticed a suspicious-looking vehicle travelling on a gravel road, and upon seeing the police car, the vehicle did a U-turn and sped off trying to evade police".
And well they should, because travelling with chicken takeaways over state lines during the Covid-19 pandemic is a serious offence.
• At the time of writing, Auckland, New Zealand, was under level 4 lockdown meaning all restaurants remained closed. Under the country's Covid-19 Public Health Response Act, the pair caught attempting to smuggle takeaways into the province could receive a hefty fine or even prison time.
• This article was first published by the Sunday Times.