Noel Edmonds has been accused of ‘colonising’ an idyllic New Zealand village after purchasing 12 properties worth £15million and opening a pub called The B*gger Inn in the area home to just 2,500 people.
The UK television star, best known for Noel’s House Party and presenting Deal or No Deal, moved Down Under in 2019 with his wife Liz.
He has since bought 12 properties with a total landmass of 270 hectares worth almost £15million, The Times reports, most of which are based in or around the village of Ngatimoti, located 26 miles to the west of Nelson on South Island.
Edmonds has brought a corner of England to the area complete with a restaurant, shop, coffee house and The B*gger Inn on his River Haven estate.
He says he is trying to assimilate into the community and has made local donations, recently paying the village school’s £3,000 bill for traffic management during this year’s festival.
Noel Edmonds has been accused of ‘colonising’ an idyllic New Zealand village after purchasing 12 properties worth £15million and opening a pub called The B*gger Inn in the area home to just 2,500 people. The Deal or No Deal star’s estate, River Haven, also has a coffee shop
Noel Edmonds pictured outside his British-style pub in New Zealand, The B*gger Inn
Noel Edmonds first rose to fame as presenter of Noel’s House Party, which featured the iconic Mr Blobby
But while many locals are said to appreciate the new hub where they can meet one another, not everyone is happy about his claims he has ‘revived’ the area.
The village is already well-known in New Zealand for its annual festival, which generally takes place in October and is attended by thousands of people.
One local, who did not wish to be named, told the New Zealand website Stuff that Edmonds has ‘colonised’ their village.
‘I feel like he’s a coloniser,’ they said. ‘He’s come in like [he’s] the lord of the manor.’
The resident added: ‘He’s got this attitude… about how he’s improved the place and made it amazing – it was already amazing.’
Others criticised his ‘flashy’ 4×4 fleet which they said included a Land Rover with a PA system for blasting music, lights and sirens.
Some locals also told Stuff they were concerned about security cameras placed at the entrance to one of Edmonds’ properties, which they claimed invaded people’s privacy.
Edmonds has also brought plenty of double-edged humour to the region, with his number plates sporting the number 4 and the letter Q.
Meanwhile at his pub, punters can purchase drinks such as the Dickens Cider and T*ts Up Lager.
His estate River Haven’s website says: ‘Fact: Kiwis love traditional Irish and English pubs.
‘Apparently the only reason Kiwis travel to Europe is to see old architecture and visit a pub or work in it.
‘Well, have we got exciting news for you guys.
Recent photographs purport to show that the pub is very popular with locals and gets fully booked
The pub serves drinks with humourous names such as ‘T*ts Up Lager’
Noel Edmonds at the opening of Crinkley Bottom (also known as Blobbyland)
Crinkley Bottom, made famous by the TV star, was located in Cricket St Thomas, Somerset
The Blobby Shop at Crinkley Bottom, which is believed to have inspired Edmonds’ empire
The inside of one of the rural properties the TV star has bought in New Zealand
Edmonds said he understands residents’ suspicions and has tried to ‘tread carefully’. Pictured: The exterior of one of the properties
Edmonds has bought a total of 12 properties in the region, worth almost £15million
One of the properties bought by Edmonds now features its own cafe (pictured)
‘When our construction team were digging the foundations for the new Health Club they unearthed an original pub.
‘Established in 1642 the pub, which had no name, was popular with local residents and early tourists.
‘Indeed, we found a photograph of Abel Tasman leaning on the bar enjoying a pint of ale with some of the locals.
‘Supported by archaeologists, historians, know-alls and general busy bodies our team have restored the old building and relocated it alongside the Clubhouse Restaurant.
‘It was quite a tight fit and when Bert said ‘we’ll never get the b*gger in’ we decided that’s its new name.
‘So, Ngatimoti now has its own traditional pub – The B*gger Inn.’
The presenter has said he understands why some locals may have been wary of him at first.
‘I totally sympathise with the suspicion. When people are ignorant they become more suspicious.
‘We tried to just tread gently, I’m sure we upset some people, I’m sure there are people… who are still upset – nothing deliberate, we’ve tried to listen,’ he told Stuff.
‘I’m here … to give, to make a difference. My love has always been the environment, the countryside. I haven’t just been buying property for the sake of it.’
He later told The Times that his pub had been ‘crammed’ with people ‘expressing their disgust’ at the claims made by Stuff after their article was published.
MailOnline has contacted Noel Edmonds for comment.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk