New Zealand’s reputation as a safe country took another blow today when six people were arrested in the middle class Auckland suburb of North Shore.
According to a report in the NZ Herald neighbours called police after a shot was heard at a premises on Stott Avenue, Birkdale. Police cordoned off the street and
A witness said the police Eagle helicopter was circling Birkenhead College for about 45 minutes.
Three men were seen handcuffed on the ground outside the house.
Police would not say whether the incident was drug-related.
The incident was witnessed by Radgirl who posted about it on the Trade Me forum, saying
Oh no armed offenders down Stott Avenue
helicopter hovering and one guy on the ground in handcuffs!! 4 cop cars whats happening.
…we were told to all get inside the house so guess its bad
no one guess hellhole Auckland– can you believe that??!!
Late 2011 a P lab was uncovered in the area.
Each year New Zealand police find on average about 200 P labs, many of them operating in rented houses. Drug experts have warned that “makeshift labs are ticking time bombs that pose a risk to their occupants and to those who live unsuspectingly alongside them…Often the labs are uncovered only by accident – or after they explode.”
As well as the obvious risk of explosion and fire, contamination from the manufacture of the drug can render a house dangerous to live in, so be sure to know the history of your new home in New Zealand before you move in. Decontamination could cost you as much as $50,000.
Some statistics about P (July 2011) from TV3:
“Amphetamine prevalence in New Zealand remains among the highest in the world and injecting methamphetamine is on the rise, according to the latest United Nations report.
The World Drug Report 2011 shows 2.1 percent of New Zealanders aged 16-64 used amphetamines in the year 2007/2008 and rates of methamphetamine use are still rising, in contrast with Australia.
Among frequent injecting drug users in New Zealand those who injected methamphetamine increased from 40 percent in 2006 to 50 percent in 2009
Managing Director of Methcon and former police drug squad detective Dale Kirk says not enough is being done to educate people on the dangers of methamphetamine, or on getting addicts into meaningful programs to deal with addiction…” more here
You may also like: Daniel Vae & NZ’s War On Drugs
New Zealand’s carefully honed image of being a safe country has taken another blow after the savage beating of cricketer Jesse Ryder.
Ryder was left with a fractured skull, punctured lung and internal bleeding after a frenzied attack by four men on a Christchurch street. Ryder was due to fly out tomorrow to start a $NZ300,000 contract with the Indian Premier League.
According to a report in the NZ Herald Ryder was attacked from behind outside Aikman’s Bar on Papanui Road, Merivale.
Radio New Zealand reported he was in a coma. His condition was critical.
A witness, who only wanted to be known as Adam, told Fairfax Media that Ryder had his shirt ripped off his back and was on the ground as four men kicked and punched him outside the bar.
Ryder was lying in a bush “shaking, vomiting and covered in blood” in the carpark of McDonald’s, which was across the road from the bar.
Adam, who was drinking at the bar, said the brawl broke out behind him.
“From what I could tell it looked pretty unprovoked,” he said.
Four men started punching Ryder in the bar’s courtyard and the fight was quickly pushed out on to the street.”Four dudes were just laying into him and absolutely smashing him on the ground. His shirt was ripped off and they were kicking him and punching him while he was down.” more here
a 20 year old man and an out of town male relative, age 37, have been arrested. Neighbours saw a man led away in handcuffs from a home in Barbadoes Street on Thursday evening, just hours after the attack.
British Cricket Team Victims of Theft in Auckland
Continuing with cricket and sporting news, it has emerged that three members of the British touring cricket team were victims of theft whilst staying at the Pullman Hotel on Waterloo Quadrant, Auckland on Sunday night.
Police are looking for a man who was pictured leaving the “plush hotel” with the unnamed cricketers’ gold clubs which had been left in an unsecured storage room. A doorman, who is reportedly not a suspect, helped him carry the golf bag out of the door in the early hours of the morning. The theft was noticed when the team’s luggage was loaded up for the flight out. For more click here.
The team has already left New Zealand and are unlikely to be as lucky as the member of the US rowing team at Lake Karapiro who had their stolen possessions returned minutes before leaving New Zealand. For more read US Rowing Team Member Robbed, World Rowing Championships 2010.
South African reporters covering the Rugby World Cup weren’t that fortunate. Christiaan Kotze and Barry Aldworth lost R60 000 worth of equipment after South Africa’s games against Samoa at North Harbour stadium. Neither were SuperSport journalists Brenden Nel and Gavin Rich, when their car was broken into at a parking lot at an Auckland hotel.
- Test cricketer’s skull ‘smashed’ (theage.com.au)
- National Sport: NZ cricket offer support to Ryder (birminghampost.net)
- New Zealand cricket star Jesse Ryder in critical condition after bar attack (metro.co.uk)
German tourists Juliane Quanzt and Nina Pielstick have fallen victim to yet another vicious mugging in broad daylight in New Zealand, this time in the Auckland suburb of Papakura.
The story of the assault, plus the now obligatory PR statement published whenever foreign tourists become crime victims in New Zealand, can be read here.
Aside from the obvious violence involved what is shocking about this crime is the total disinterest shown by the public, despite the girls screams for help no-one had the courage to intervene in the beating.
Hopefully the police will be able to use CCTV footage to identify the assailant and justice will prevail.
Our condolences go out to Juliane Quanzt and Nina Pielstick, we hope the rest of their stay in New Zealand is without incident. However, we do ask that they help to publicise New Zealand’s crime problem, in the hope that they can help prevent their experience happening to anyone else.
Embassy theft warnings
In March of this year the French, German and Argentine Embassies joined the UK and Australia and warned their nationals about theft in New Zealand. Read blog here.
It appears that the problem of thefts from tourists may be more prevalent than is reported by the NZ media.
The German embassy alone says it gets 1-2 people a week reporting passports stolen from vehicles.
“A number of incidents involving European tourists in Auckland and Rotorua generated media attention over the summer holidays, and last week the Argentine Embassy in Wellington advised tourists in New Zealand to take care with their belongings.
“There has been an increase in the number of reported robberies, especially of cars and camper vans left unprotected, in larger cities and popular tourist areas,” it said in a regular newsletter.
Romina Bocache, head of its consular section, said they decided to include the notice after being contacted by several young people whose belongings had been stolen.
There was no violence involved and it often occurred when people left their vehicles unlocked.
“It’s just to tell them to be careful because here it’s very quiet but you have to lock the doors and have normal precautions…”
The report says that the French and German embassies have also done similar, after their nationals have also fallen victim to New Zealand’s crime problem. Not least that of physical attacks on tourists – the most poignant in most people’s memories is probably the rape and serious assault of a five year old European tourist during a campervan robbery in Turangi.
China and the Netherlands have also previously issued advice to its nationals about crime in New Zealand. More here.
Similar stories involving German tourists in New Zealand:
You may also be interested in our other tourist assault stories
Italian tourists robbed on Marae in Jerusalem – twelve people lost $5,000 worth of belongings at a remote marae
Vicious Sex Attack on 5 Year Old Belgian Tourist – little girl severely injured in a frenzied attack as she lay sleeping in a campervan in Turangi.
Australian honeymooners lose it all two tourists robbed near Milford Sound
Te Anau Troubled By Tourist Attacks -drunken youths attack visitors in Te Anau
Chilean Tourist Robbed, Loses Life’s Work robbed in a motel near Auckland international airport
“New Zealand is a wonderful country, but be careful as it’s not so safe” – Swiss campervan tourist loses everything in Whangarei
Honeymoon Couple Lose Precious Photos, No ‘Gold Medal’ British couple robbed outside of Auckland zoo
Czech Tourist, Jan Fakotor, Stabbed In Motueka man stabbed in a Motueka backpackers
English tourist mugged in Gisborne female tourist punched and handbag stolen in a street attack, delaying her departure from NZ
Chilean tourist punched, robbed in Nelson man attacked on Nelson cathedral steps by three teenagers
A group of students that were beaten and robbed whilst on a treasure hunt at the Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa, Northland
A series of random, unprovoked attacks in Queenstown
Previous robbery of British tourists at Kerosene Creek
Tourists robbed at Kerosene Creek
Three French tourists beaten and robbed in their campervan in Mangamuka, Northland
A family of Swiss tourists that were assaulted and racially abused in Kaitaia, Northland
Anke Kuballa and Marc Busch from Germany who were robbed in Whangarei, Northland
Two German tourists attacked in Paihia, Northland
Asian woman, (probably Japanese) age 22, raped in her room by 2 teenagers in a home invasion in Opotiki, Bay of Plenty
Three Chinese tourists attacked and robbed at Te paki, 90 Mile Beach, Northland, by two men they’d stopped to help
French tourist Anthony Cressend, beaten and robbed at campsite in Ahipara, Northland
Two Australian tourists robbed at knifepoint for their holiday money in Te Puke, SE of Tauranga.
Japanese tourist age 23 (female) kidnapped, robbed and assaulted in Rotorua by four men
French tourist (male) raped at gunpoint near Opotiki, Bay of Plenty
American peace corp twins Adam and Alex Rahmlow, 21 were robbed of all their possessions by a man they tried to help in Amberley, Christchurch.
Dutch couple raped and robbed on a campsite in Tuatapere, NW of Invercargill, whilst on their honeymoon. (Dutch govt. issued a travel warning about NZ)
Two Koreans were attacked and robbed of their possession which included a laptop computer by a man claiming to be a gang member in Blenheim.
British tourist worker sexually assaulted near Hururu Falls, Northland when she was dragged off a walking track.
Canadian tourist Jeremie Kawerninski, kidnapped, assaulted and robbed in Lower Hutt, Wellington
Dutch couple robbed and sexually attacked Haruru Falls, Northland whilst on honeymoon.
Two British women robbed and raped in their campervan at Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne.
Japanese tourist subjected to a prolonged and brutal sex attack in a communal area of a backpacker’s hostel in Turangi, Taupo.
Scottish woman Karen Aim brutally murdered and robbed by a youth in Taupo.
Korean man Jae Hyeon Kim decapitated with a spade by white supremacist.
Japanese tourist robbed at gunpoint in Oamaru.
Irish cycle tourist Paul Mack bashed, robbed and urinated on throughout his NZ tour.
6 English and Danish tourists attacked and stabbed in Cashel Mall, Christchurch for having “foreign accents.”
Russian couple Denis Khotchenko and Lera Nesterova beaten and robbed in Milford, Auckland
English woman knifed and sexually assaulted in a toilet block at an A1 motor camp in Kaikoura
American campers Patrick Dykstra and Kelsey McGinley beaten and robbed at Whangarei Falls, Northland.
Australian tourist sexually assaulted on a street in broad daylight in Nelson.
Australian tourist subjected to a sex attack by Maia Crawford Rongonui whilst walking home to a backpackers in Christchurch.
Canadian tourist left with a fractured skull outside Silver Fern backpackers in Taupo.
Dutch tourist beaten and robbed at Lake Rotorua.
British man Paul Speakman and his young son beaten and robbed in a campervan at Athenree Gorge, Katikati.
Chinese woman attacked for speaking Chinese on a train approaching Petone.
Scottish visitor Stuart Martin who was left in a coma and with a boot print on his face after a street bashing in Taradale, Christchurch.
Its been revealed that three days before Phillip Cottrell was attacked and killed in central Wellington a 23 year old woman was attacked in Newtown Avenue (below) just 4 kms away .
She was walking along Newton Road at 9.30 pm on 7 December when she was attacked from behind and put in a headlock. She fought with her assailant and eventually managed to escape, seeking help from a passing motorist.
The story has come to light today, almost two weeks after the incident because police are seeking witnesses to the assault and want to talk to the driver who helped her. Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Thornton wants people to contact him with information.
Its odd because hours after Mr Cottrell’s beating Wellington police were at great pains to point out that the capital’s streets were safe, saying that street violence was rare in the city. Which makes the two week delay in releasing details about the assault in Newtown Avenue very peculiar, if the streets were that safe shouldn’t an unprovoked attack on a woman have elicited a more rapid response. Hasn’t the trail gone cold now and how many other women have been attacked in the meantime, how common is this in Wellington?
The day after Mr Cottrell died local newspaper, The Dominion Post, took the bull by the horns and published data that showed that violence and serious assaults have almost doubled in the city
“Serious assaults in Wellington have increased by 43 per cent in the past year.
Police are investigating the homicide of Radio New Zealand bulletins editor Phillip Alexander Cottrell, 43, who died in Wellington Hospital yesterday after he was attacked in Boulcott St about 5.30am.
Three other men were also attacked in the weekend in what police say are separate incidents.
Monthly police statistics show an increase of serious assaults resulting in injury, in either public or private places, rose from 23 in October 2010 to 33 in October this year.
The monthly reports also show an increase of public place assaults from 62 to 65 in the same time period…”
But there was no mention about the attack on Newtown Avenue, which means the press probably still hadn’t been told about it four days after it had happened.
Perhaps the public would be served better if crime was reported in a more timely manner and with less spin. At they least they should be given the opportunity to make informed choices based on facts and not aspirations.
You may also be interested in another one of our blogs from July 2010:
“Don’t the public have a right to know what is going on in their own town and the actions their public servants are taking to control that crime?
Surely it is preferable to create a safer, low crime community rather than mislead people into thinking that it is?…”
“police have decided to restrict the information on crime they provide to media in a move to “make the community feel safer”.
Thanks to Moonlight, a regular contributor to this blog who sent us the following message about comments left on a Daily Telegraph report about the death of Scottish journalist Phillip Cottrell.
Mr Cottrell was mugged as he walked home through the streets of Wellington, capital city of New Zealand, in daylight. He’d been working a night shift editing news stories at Radio New Zealand. He was found unconscious by a taxi driver outside the Central Baptist Church, next to the Dominion Post’s offices. For more about the circumstances surrounding his death read our blog from yesterday Murdered Journalist Philip Cottrell was British Expat
He was a passionate and enthusiastic traveller and by way of a tribute a link to his wonderful travel blog Airpoints Adventure may be found at the side of this page.
“One of the most viewed news in the Telegraph today, notice the comments, the word about NZ is getting out!
and indeed it is. People with experience of New Zealand know it has a serious crime problem but an over reliance on attracting migrants and tourists to the country is a powerful reason to downplay reports of crime, especially that perpetrated against visitors to the country. See our crime facts and stats page for further information.
These are some of the comments left on the British newspaper’s site:
“I have never felt at risk in Australia, but in my life previously in NZ I have often found myself in dangerous situations. There are areas in NZ I would never walk through at any time of the day.
My brother was knifed and robbed in Auckland’s main street (Queen street) in the evening. Nice place for a holiday but watch where you go and who is around you especially in the evening.”
“Yes both dangerous. Sydney and Melbourne are both prone to catch the unaware. Heroin seems to be a problem as I remember from 10 years ago.
New Zealand has a different problem. The original Maouri population harbours a very real grudge against the white ‘invaders’. I have been in pubs and bars where it was openly stated much they hated white all people. It´s a violent culture. Check out the film Once Were Warriors, probably one of NZ´s finest films. Beautiful country though, and Australia. Very different vibes.”
“This gentlemen is an unfortunate victim of a problem plaguing Auckland and Wellington. Large groups of young men roam about in packs at night looking for guys walking alone that they can beat up. I know many guys who have been beaten or have been lucky to escape a beating. The streets are very, very unsafe. The more people talk about this sad, sad state of affairs, the more chance something might actually be done about it.
RIP Mr Cottrell.”
“I was amazed to read that NZ had one of the highest (if not the highest) murder rate in the ‘white’ English-speaking world. My understanding is that that has come down considerably but is still about 50% higher than the UK. Odd.”