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)
You may be forgiven for having a hard time understanding why New Zealand is so soft on its violent criminals.
There are grave fears for the rule of law and order when thugs like Nicho Waipuka get off with a 8.5 year non parole period for the “manslaughter” of Phillip Cottrell, a former BBC Scotland journalist, who was stomped and beaten to death in a Wellington street in December of last year. Waipuka’s 18 year old co-accused, little Manuel Robinson, was acquitted of all charges.
According to a report in the NZ Herald (Horror as killer’s violent past revealed) a judge, who shied away from imposing a custodial sentence, sentenced Nicho Waipuka to “intensive supervision” for assault against a stranger two weeks before he attacked Mr Cottrell.
Waipuka was no stranger to the NZ justice system, already having amassed 24 previous convictions including assault and threatening to kill.
At the time the judge noted he should be sent to prison – but instead he gave Waikpuka a “last chance” by imposing a sentence of intensive supervision“ allowing a violent offender back on the streets to attack again, ultimately going into town looking to “knock someone out” and coming across Philip Cottrell quietly going about his business.
At the sentencing hearing today Mr Cottrell’s relatives are feeling justifiably angry. His brother-in-law, Heath Hollows, told reporters he was angry Waipuka was on intensive supervision at the time he attacked Philip, that information had been withheld from the family and the public until today.
“We found that out just before we walked into the court this morning, and that was like an earthquake. It’s just rocked us.”
He said if the judge had made a different decision, Mr Cottrell might be alive today.
“Maybe he should have put him away and Phil would be here. People already knew what [Waipuka] was like – he was just given a chance, one too many.”
Mr Cottrell’s sister, Susan Hollows, who was visibly upset when the sentence was announced, spoke about her concern about the jury’s decision to find Waipuka guilty of manslaugher and not murder, thanking the sentencing judge for doing the best he could, but added
“Phil was taken from us in the most tragic of circumstances – an unnecessary and unprovoked attack.
“Nothing would have brought Phillip back, however we are extremely disappointed with the outcome having heard every shred of evidence before the courts.”
We ask this – did Mr Cottrell’s sexual orientation have anything to do with the jury’s decision and would they have regarded him differently if he’d been a straight, New Zealand born male and not an immigrant? and what responsibility does the NZ justice system take for allowing this criminal out on the streets to attack innocent people?
There is also another question that arises here - Do Waipuka and Robinson have any gang affiliations and is there any truth in the rumour (comments here) that one of them may have been a Black Power associate?
Gang prospects in New Zealand have to commit a serious (usually violent) crime and serve a prison term to be accepted. Was this the reason why the original judge was unwilling to jail Waipuka, instead giving him a intensive supervision order?
The time is long overdue to take a hard line approach with the Gangs of New Zealand.
An example of a Black Power Bebo Page: “Yo Fukin Yo“
Napier police are warning about the dangers of sexual predators after a 17 year old female was sexually assaulted by a 15 year old youth in Woodhouse Place, Pirimai, at 11.30am on 31 January 2013. It was the third such attack in the areas in as many months.
“The offender was described as a teenage boy, around 15, who had followed the young woman on what she told police was a black BMX-style bicycle.
Mr Lynch said police were now reasonably confident the offender lived somewhere in the immediate area…” more here
The assault happened two days before an 8 year old was raped on Oreti Beach, near Invercargill. A 20 year old male has been arrested in connection with that attack. The week before an English tourist was raped and beaten on the walkway overlooking Owhanake Bay on Waiheke Island. 17 year old Cane Norton Kelland was arrested and charged in connection with the attack.
The attack is following a disturbing trend in New Zealand – that of sex attacks on children and young women by young males.
There have been many violent acts perpetrated by young teens over the last few years in New Zealand, the most heinous of which must surely be the rape and savage beating of a five year old European tourist on a campsite in Turangi last year. 16 year old Raurangi Marino was later sentenced to a mere 10 years imprisonment for burglary, sexual violation by rape and for causing grievous bodily harm.
According to a list published by Hawke’s Bay Today the three latest assaults are
“October 30, 2012: An 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a man described as aged about 20, slim and 1.7m tall, on the green belt along Georges Drive, Napier, about 4.30pm. The case has not been solved.
November 25, 2012: A 17-year-old girl was indecently assaulted near public toilets off Maadi Rd in Onekawa, Napier. Police later arrested a (16 year old) teenager after CCTV footage led to him being identified.
January 31: A 17-year-old girl is followed by a teenage boy on a bike and sexually assaulted in Woodhouse Place, Pirimai, Napier.” more here
One has to ask, is New Zealand failing its youth and what sort of dysfunctional society are these young males being brought up in?
And, should more be done to inform tourists and immigrants about the risks they are taking when visiting New Zealand, which is often portrayed as a safe destination abroad?
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English Tourist Victim of Waiheke Island Rape – 17 year old youth arrested (23 January 2013)
- Arrest over sexual assault of a girl – Police have charged a 20-year-old Invercargill man in relation to an alleged sexual assault of an 8-year-old girl at Oreti Beach in Southland on Saturday.
- NZ children exploited for online pornography (radionz.co.nz)
- Daytime sexual assault leaves girl shaken (stuff.co.nz)
- Hand over phones or be shot, teens told – Onekawa in Napier (nzherald.co.nz) 22 January 2013
- Man kept diaries of sex offences (nzherald.co.nz)
- Teenager arrested over sexual assault - Maadi Rd, Napier (nzherald.co.nz) 4 December 2012
Those are not our words but a direct quote from a thread on the Trademe.co.nz forum, a community comprised mostly of New Zealanders. It’s an interesting thought isn’t it, as are some of the replies.
But first, here’s how the discussion started, followed by a bit of the background.
“Welcome to New Zealand. 100% Violent.
The link referred to in the post is a NZ Herald report about 2 German tourists getting beaten up and robbed in Kaitaia on 22 January.
They had inadvertently become the victims of crime because they slept overnight in a layby whilst waiting for replacement parts for their broken-down vehicle. Unfortunately for them they fell prey to something that has plagued other campervan tourists in New Zealand (read posts tagged Campervan) with every fresh incident doing nothing to improve the country’s image abroad.
The Herald report said
“The tourists told police the two men smashed the van’s windows then demanded the tourists’ wallets, which were handed over. One of the victims was struck in the face, although it was not clear whether that was with a fist or the piece of wood that was used to smash the windows.
Police were still looking for the second offender at edition time yesterday..” more here
Fortunately police have one man in custody, 2o year old Devaray Heremaia Cole.
The first reply to the Trademe thread went like this, remember these are New Zealanders talking.
“It’s not new….been plenty that have been murdered as well.”
Perhaps this person was thinking about the recent killing of 64 year old tourist, Robert Murray Wilkinson in Waihi Beach ? a crime that deeply shocked the quiet coastal community.
Another poster made the link with unemployment, which is high in the north
“it goes with the other national pasttime: unemployment
sort out unemployment and then no idle hands (excluding nut jobs as they need to be committed to a house on the premises of a prison)”
Fair comment, and it is ironic that one of the major employment industries in Northland is tourism, we’re guessing that is something these two muggers aren’t engaged in
This comment hit the nail on the head
“This seems to happen a lot up North. Maybe the tourism bureau should advise tourists not to travel north of Whangarei. Or to Tokoroa. Or Rotorua…………….or any of the other places tourists have been attacked lately.”
Now there’s the problem – it is a fine balance between warning tourists and scaring them off and killing the tourism industry. What is to be done? perhaps investment in other industries in the region makes sense, diversification is that name of the game. Think of the good that could’ve been done if the half a billion spent on the Hobbit film industry (most of it going offshore) had been spent on other industries in deprived areas of New Zealand.
Because the danger is, as one poster put it
“If we don’t tell them, Lonely Planet surely will.”
You may also be interested in our other blogs tagged Freedom Camping in New Zealand and the following blogs
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.
We regret to report yet another violent sexual offence against a tourist visiting New Zealand.
A twenty nine year old British woman has been raped on Waiheke Island off the coast of Auckland. Our condolences are extended to the woman at this difficult time.
A police reports originally said a 17 year old youth from Auckland has been arrested for the attack. He has been charged with aggravated assault and sexual violation. The following day he was named as Cane Norton Kelland.
According to a Stuff report on 24 January the woman made it to the gates of the Delamore Estate where she received assistance from builders working at the property. The woman, whose face was bloodied and purple with bruises after her ordeal, had been on the walkway overlooking Owhanake Bay on Waiheke Island when the alleged attack took place.
The age of the alleged offender is of great concern, there have been many violent acts perpetrated by young teens over the last few years, the most heinous of which must surely be the rape and savage beating of a five year old European tourist on a campsite in Turangi last year. 16 year old Raurangi Marino (below) was later sentenced to a mere 10 years imprisonment for burglary, sexual violation by rape and for causing grievous bodily harm.
Another youth, Jahche Broughton, who assaulted and battered to death Scottish tourist Karen Aim in Taupo was only 14 at the time of his crime. He was given a minimum parole period of just 12.5 years.
One has to ask, is New Zealand failing its youth and what sort of dysfunctional society are these young males being brought up in?
And, should more be done to inform tourists about the risks they are taking when visiting New Zealand, which is often portrayed as a safe destination abroad?
We wish the British woman well and hope that she receives the support she needs to overcome her dreadful experience.
British travel advice for New Zealand
The British government recently gave this advice to its citizens visiting New Zealand. Considering the nature and locations of attacks on British people, many of which have been outside of major towns and cities, we expect the FCO to update its advice to something more suitable than this.
Crime levels are generally low, but street crime occurs in major towns and cities. Thefts from unattended vehicles, especially hire cars and camper vans in major tourist areas (the Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua and Queenstown) have increased. There has also been an increase in the number of thefts from hotel rooms in some tourist areas. Don’t leave possessions in unattended vehicles even if out of sight in a locked boot. Don’t leave valuables in hotel rooms. Use the hotel safe if possible. Keep passports, travellers’ cheques, credit cards, etc separate.
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