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NZ woman pays motorised tribute to A RYAN 1

Ex-boyf numberplate a white right sight

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The New Zealand Transport Agency has declined to withdraw a woman's numberplate tribute to her ex-boyfriend, despite another motorist's complaint that ARYAN1 wasn't particularly well thought through.

Lisa Marie Thompson, 32, of Upper Hutt, coughed NZ$700 for the whiter-than-white nod to Andrew Ryan four years back, and it's been proudly adorning her 1993 Ford Falcon ever since.

According to the Dominion Post, the complainant wrote: "This is really offensive, for pretty obvious reasons. How can somebody even have a plate like this approved? I am baffled."

While the NZTA takes a dim view of plates punting "mass murder, obscenities, threats against the police", or those "promoting drug use", it will not act againt Ms Thompson, citing her right to express herself under the Bill of Rights Act.

The agency said: "On its own it is simply a name and I believe it would require some other words, actions or gestures to be inciting.

"NZTA finds racism and racist speech as abhorrent as all right-thinking New Zealanders [do], which is why this was not an easy decision to make. However, we consider that the original decision not to require the surrender of the plate was correct."

Thompson summarised: "Why did I do it? Because it's the name of my ex-boyfriend."

She did, though, insist she wouldn't sell the plate now that the penny had finally dropped. The avowed non-racist said: "I'll look it up in the dictionary and see what it says, but I've had it for years and I don't see the problem with it. It would be no different to having `Maori Pride'. It doesn't really bother me."

Other number plates which didn't pass NZTA muster "include DRGDLR, QUICKE, 18750 (American slang for police murder), 4QANC, 50KILA, H8ACC, HOBNGR, JAPSUX, KCUFME, MDAFKR, OLDKNT, PIZZDA, SIKCNT, TAMPON, TBAGGD and ZYKLON". ®

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Thanks to Jack Prichard for the heads-up.

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