Insight & Analysis

Waiheke’s residents receive sausages in their letterboxes

Published: May 2023

Nearly a year on, the residents of Waiheke Island are still falling prey to the Surfdale Sausager, a mystery person leaving sausages in letterboxes.

Once New Zealand’s Waiheke was known for its vineyards, but now the island is known for its mailbox sausages. The island, only a 30-minute boat ride from downtown Auckland, has become known for residents having sausages put in their mailboxes.

The first incident occurred in summer 2022. Jacob Coetzee, the first victim, shrugged off the incident as a drunken bypasser disregarding their takeaway. Having sent a picture to his friends, he soon found out there was a serial sausager, and he became intrigued in solving the mystery.

Nearly a year on, the mystery is ongoing with the now nicknamed ‘Surfdale Sausager’ still at large.

Residents have made complaints that “It’s ripping us apart; we can’t trust one another.” Alongside other statements that the mystery has become “a witch hunt” and that “it is traumatic” for the incidents to be ongoing.

There is no rhyme or reason for the attacks. At times, weeks or months go by without another appearance. Some people are unfortunate enough to have been hit three times by the serial sausager while others are announcing they “feel a bit left out, actually” at not having received their letterbox surprise yet.

Whilst the norm is for a resident to receive a sausage wrapped in a single slice of bread, there is variation between sauces and butter. Once the sausage arrived in brown bread leading several to wonder if the serial sausager has been affected by the cost-of-living crisis. The only constant is that the sausages are barbecued.

Despite attempts to solve the mystery, which included researching where sells the cheapest sausagers on the island and questioning any frequent buyers, there is no solid evidence of who’s behind it.

For now, the case of the Surfdale Sausager remains open.

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