“Indians Less Safe In NZ Than Kiwis Are In India”

The headline on Stuff didn’t surprise us one bit but we thought we’d draw it to our readers’ attention as we do get a lot of visitors from India and surrounding countries.

It’s the first time we’ve seen hard facts to back-up something we’d suspected for a while, New Zealand isn’t a safe place for foreigners, especially Asian people.

This was written by Michael Field using information published in the Indian Weekender Magazine:

More Indians are victims of crime in New Zealand than Kiwis are in India.

New Zealand sportspeople playing cricket or heading to the Commonwealth Games are questioning security in India in the wake of bombing outside a cricket ground in Bangalore.

The impression is that India is extremely dangerous, but the statistics show differently.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Wellington said that in 2009 a total of 31 New Zealanders sought consular help from the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi.

A spokesman said of these, four were categorised as “victims of crime” – and none of them violent.

Over roughly the same time, four Indian nationals were homicide victims in New Zealand including a 78-year-old man, Jastmatbhai Patel, who was hauled out of his van and mortally beaten on the road-side.

The latest incident occurred in January this year when Indian national and father of two, taxi driver Hiren Mohini, was stabbed to death in Auckland.

In the time New Zealanders were complaining about bag snatching in Delhi, two other Indians were killed, including bottle store worker Navtej Singh and sixteen year old dairy worker Sai Krishna Naidu.

Indian Weekender magazine, making its first anniversary as a publication, noted that it had been a depressing time for Indians in New Zealand.

Murder, unsolved disappearance*, road rage, stabbing and shooting incidents horrified the community; even more shocking was the justice meted out to some in the instances they were caught by New Zealand police and hauled before the courts,” the publication said.

*’Missing’ student Srikanth Rayadurgam was never found after he disappeared in Auckland one day after withdrawing $250 from his bank account. His ostensibly empty wallet and personal belongings were found in a quiet location on a harbourside footpath. Divers looking for his body were pulled off the job to search for a missing toddler who was later found deceased in a drain.

We’re also aware other incidents of violence directed toward Indian people including: A student who was seriously injured in an attack in Avondale, another student who no longer feels safe after a brutal attack in New Plymouth and Indian students being labelled “terrorists” in Invercargill.

Then there was the terrible attack on Ashwin and Nita Surti in their Church Street dairy.  Ashwin  Surti was shot in the face with an air gun and battered with a hammer when two men held up his shop in Timaru. The couple had arrived from Gujarat in the west of India, 22 months before the robbery.

They came to New Zealand hoping for new opportunities in a country less crowded than their own and where they would be rewarded for their hard work, not brutally beaten and robbed by scum.

Samuel Anglem, 20,  was later convicted of aggravated robbery and remanded in custody for sentence on March 17. Anglem carried the claw hammer and struck Mr Surti with it before his associate fired the airgun into Mr Surti’s face at close range.

4 thoughts on ““Indians Less Safe In NZ Than Kiwis Are In India”

  1. Of course one major difference between NZ and India is that New Zealand actively markets itself as being a low crime, ‘safe destination‘ which results in visitors becoming less cautious and far more susceptible to crime.

    NZ tourism bodies used to actively acknowledge that New Zealand needed to be a lot more open and honest about the dangers visitors face. The chair of one local tourism advisory board even recommended that tourist attractions be graded according to their safety.

    Our international readers may be interested in this
    Low crime rate a ‘myth‘

    Kevin Hicks, Chair of Neighbourhood Support Auckland City was quoted as having said:

    “…the popular notion that we have a low rate of crime is yet another myth that has been perpetuated over the years.

    Another myth is that we are a punitive society. Quite the reverse is true – we are actually a very lenient society with the chance of imprisonment falling from one chance in 30 in before the 1950s, to less than one chance in 200 by the 1980s. “It is very disappointing to see the debate still based on urban legends ideologically driven “research” when the statistics that are easily found on the government website say the exact opposite”. “Over those same years when prosecutions and imprisonment was falling, crime was exponentially rising” he says.

    Read the full article here https://emigratetonewzealand.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/attacks-on-tourists-in-new-zealand/

    They may also like to read about the savage attack on British man Stuart Martin, and a British tourist who wished he’d been warned about the violence in New Zealand. And some of you may remember Karen Aim, the Scottish woman who was brutally murdered by a 14 year old as she walked home alone in Taupo one night.

    Crimes against tourists in New Zealand became so alarming that external safety warnings about New Zealand were issued to Asian and Dutch tourists. The latter of which “endorses what those in the industry have been saying for some time, that tourists need to exercise caution.”

    The situation has been serious enough for a few tourism managers to dare to call for tourists to be more vigilant. One victim’s mother threatened to hand out leaflets warning tourists of the dangers:

    Attack sparks tourist warning

    “A spokeswoman for Tourism New Zealand said New Zealand was still regarded as a safe country, but visitors needed to be made aware of the risks.

    “New Zealand is seen as a warm and friendly place, and certainly what has happened is in stark contrast to that reputation,” she said.

    “We are always concerned about visitor safety, whether it be due to crime or safety — when tramping, for example. It is our responsibility to get the safety message out there.”

    Safety messages were put out on tourism websites and leaflets given to visitors, but tourism operators could help.

    “Tourism operators should think about talking to their guests about things in their area, whether that be weather or conditions on a certain track or not walking down a dark alley at night,” she said.

    “We do need to strike a balance with portraying New Zealand as safe, but I don’t think operators should be worried about making people aware of the risks. I think most operators would be aware that there would be more damage done by an actual incident.”

    Tourism West Coast general manager Sonya Matthews said all tourists, from overseas or other parts of New Zealand, needed to be vigilant.

    She said they should not be put off touring the country.

    “I don’t think we want to scare people, but they do need to take general precautions,” she said.”

    See also a quote from the General Manager’s report to Whangarei District Council, April 2004
    Tourism advisory group meeting

    “Further cases of tourists being attacked or robbed during their stay in Whangarei have made for headlines here, and an article in the New Zealand Herald. The question of whether it is possible to find ways to counter these negative stories, or improve the situation remains unanswered“.

    We’d like to direct our international readers toward a thread on the Topix.com forum for some background reading. It’s called “Is New Zealand really that bad?” and was started by a student from Nepal.

    “I’m from a country called Nepal next to India. I’m planning to come to New Zealand. I’m struggling with the finance but once that is taken care of I want to apply there. My concern is that so many people here have posted that NZ is a dead country with nothing but racist people. I’ve heard some real good stuffs about NZ like you get good jobs and that the education is good. Is it all just exaggeration then? This step is really important to me and will determine my future. Somebody tell me the real thing and how it is for international students?

  2. And what of the “horrific things” that have befallen Indians in New Zealand? Are you suggesting that’s sort of thing is usual in New Zealand too?

    The article doesn’t talk about immigrants per se, just victims of crime (some of the victims in NZ were students) and that the NZ justice system has handed out very lenient sentences to the perpetrators.

    No NZ nationals sought help in India for the effects of violent crime. Did you suffer ‘violent crime’ whilst there? your statement that that you didn’t ‘see any point’ in reporting the crime you experienced suggests that you didn’t. Petty crime is probably just as prevalent in India as it is in New Zealand.

    How many NZers have been murdered in India over the last ~3 years compared to the number of Indians murdered in cold blood in New Zealand? (the above article mentions a few of them)

    A couple of Kiwis got arrested for being in possession of 96g of charas in India but is that surprising given that they come from a country that has the highest rate of cannabis use?

    Makes you wonder which country has the greater crime problem doesn’t it.

    In light of New Zealand’s escalating crime rate perhaps the Indian goverment should issue the same advice to its citizens as the British FCO?

    Pickpocketing and other street crime occur in major urban areas. Reports of thefts from unattended vehicles, especially hire cars/camper vans in major tourist areas (e.g. the Coromandel peninsula, Rotorua and Queenstown) are on the increase. There has also been an increase in the number of thefts from hotel/motel rooms in some tourist areas.
    Do not leave possessions in unattended vehicles even if out of sight in a locked boot. Do not leave valuables in hotel/motel rooms, but use safe boxes when available. Keep passports, travellers’ cheques, credit cards etc separate.
    For more general information see our Victims of Crime Abroad page.

  3. This is absurd. How many Indians immigrate to NZ and how many go the other way?

    I can assure you, if New Zealanders established a sizable migrant community in any sizable Indian city they would suffer horrific crime. I’ve been to India as a Tourist and me and my entourage were the victims of three different crimes (none of which we saw any point of reporting). You couldn’t even imagine the horrific things we encountered which seemed just a part of the what was deemed usual for Indians.

    What a no-brainer this article is. New Zealand is far from perfect but it is far safer than India.

    • I feel like your missing the point here Sir, this article is trying to shed some light on how Indians in NZ are more prone to being victims of violence than other ethnic groups. I’m from India and I know when you say that India is far more violent than NZ, and that may be true but everyone knows and accepts the situation there. Where as on the other hand NZ is one of the safest countries in the world and for a specific ethnic group to be targeted is horrifying. And someone being shot in the face over a mugging is controversial to the preconceived notion that NZ is safe. Don’t get me wrong I love NZ its where I grew up I love the people they are friendly and kind. However there has definitely been some prejudice towards Indians in NZ and when that turns to violence it becomes scary for the people of the ethnicity. This situation should be addressed as the people doing these things are targeting people who are vulnerable, these acts of violence could just as easily happen to anyone else.

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