A Bunch Of People Have Been Tricked Into Thinking Gardening Is Illegal In New Zealand
"My brother got six years after the police raided and found his strawberry patch."
So there's this rumour going around that it's illegal to grow a garden in New Zealand.
A lot of people seem to think that gardening, growing fruit and vegetables, and basically owning anything to do with horticulture is illegal.
Well, you'll be happy to know that it's absolutely, 100% NOT illegal to grow a garden in New Zealand. That's just silly. It's actually just a very elaborate prank that's been years in the making.
It all started in 2014. Reddit user WhyNotSmeagol asked the New Zealand subreddit if gardening in New Zealand was illegal. Apparently, his friend told him you "can't have a garden in New Zealand".
Following the Reddit thread, local New Zealand media even reported on the "gardening ban" and the conversations that followed. It was funny, and was top of the news for a few days. That was in November 2014.
Now it's 2016, and New Zealand is facing a different gardening crisis: running out of avocados.
Four days ago, Reddit user DinaDinaDinaBatman uploaded a photo of his mother "flouting the law, growing her own avocado in her illegal garden".
New Zealand Reddit users were quick to pile on, and were sure to make it seem as real as possible.
It also didn't help that a New Zealand publication, The Spinoff, published another write-up of the gardening ban – giving no indication that the whole thing was a very impressive ruse – and that New Zealander Reddit users were directing everyone questioning the legitimacy of the ban to the site.
Then, another Reddit user posted about their garden getting seized by police. The post also rocketed to the front page of Reddit, and had thousands of people once more wondering what the HELL is the deal with New Zealand's gardening ban.
Reddit users lost their fuckin' minds.
And then, as is common on Reddit, the photo of DinaDinaBatman's mother was uploaded to Reddit again. And it made it to the front page. Again.
And just yesterday, someone posted a photo from protests in New Zealand saying it was actually about the "absurd gardening ban". New Zealander Reddit users went along with it (again) and people were confused (again).
Today, the "illegal gardens in New Zealand" discussions are still continuing. People on Twitter are angry. People on Reddit are confused. The world is losing its mind.
For what it's worth, a spokesperson for New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries told BuzzFeed News that there are "no laws against people in New Zealand having gardens".
"There are no laws against people having gardens, or sharing food that they’ve grown at home. New food safety law (the Food Act 2014) only applies to food for sale, so has no effect on people sharing food," they said.
"The law also allows people sell the food they grow at home, at their farm gate or on a market stall for example, without the need to register under the Food Act."