Three French Tourists Beaten Up In Northland Campervan Robbery

Attacks on tourists continue in New Zealand with the savage beating of three french tourists in Mangamuka, Northland (for updates also read “Tourist beaters up un-Maori” and French Tourists Back in Northland To Help Catch Attackers). The men were later named as Antonin Schopfer, 27, Guillaume Rey, 26, and Sebastien Vautier, 29 (click here for an update)

The Dominion Post covered the story, saying:

Three French tourists, attacked despite handing cash to robbers in Northland, feared for their lives, police say.

Two were taken to hospital with facial injuries after being attacked in their campervan, in a rest area south of Mangamuka, east of Kaitaia.

Detective Eddie Evans said the three awoke early yesterday to a man demanding money. The tourists, all in their 20s, handed cash through a window. Another man appeared and the pair broke into the van, attacking the trio and taking more property, Mr Evans said.

“The [tourists] met their demands and these guys have still proceeded to break into the campervan. They were freaked out … they feared for their lives.” The two men, described as Maori, left in an “old” car, that was possibly dark red or brown in colour.

In August three Chinese tourists were robbed at knifepoint in the Far North by two men they stopped to help. In October 2008 four Irish tourists had their van stolen at gunpoint in Dargaville. In 2006 a Dutch couple honeymooning in the Bay of Islands in a campervan were robbed at gunpoint and the woman raped. “

We’ve often called for tourists, especially those using campervans, to be given more information about the dangers of crime in New Zealand and advice about areas to steer clear of. Sadly, it seems that the message still isn’t getting out.

If you’re planning to take a holiday in New Zealand be sure to find out about the risks before you leave. If you are British you may wish to read the travel advisory issued about New Zealand by the Foreign and Commonwealth office here.

Low crime rate a ‘myth‘
Kevin Hicks, Chair of Neighbourhood Support Auckland City was once 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.

Crime is now
· impacting nearly quarter of a million kiwis per annum (ed. the pop. is only 4 million)

· damaging our reputation worldwide

· causing governments to issue tourism warnings due to our high crime rate

· spawned several websites now actively discouraging migration and tourism to NZ

· Costing the country over $12 billion per annum

· Hurting the most vulnerable people

Kevin says it is time to be honest and admit there is a problem and actually formulate some long term plans to deal with it. “

We agree with him and we will continue to highlight how crime impacts migrants and visitors to New Zealand until things improve.
In August of last year we wrote “Attack on three Chinese tourists – Reputation comments commence“:

“Labour’s tourism spokesman Kelvin Davis has been swift in issuing a strong rebuke as part of a damage limitation exercise following the knife point robbery and assault of three Chinese tourists in Northland. At least we’re not seeing the usual ‘isolated incident’ comment trotted out, so some credit to him for that.

Time to get tough on the causes of crime. Want to send out a really strong message to the community? catch those responsible and impose stiff sentences. In the meantime launch a honest campaign to warn visitors about the risks present in NZ so that they’re not sitting ducks – savvy consumers are nothing to be afraid of. A false image makes visitors vulnerable, use incidents like these to highlight the dangers and tell people they need to be as street-wise in NZ as in any other Western country with a high crime rate...”

For more see our Crime Stats and Facts page

Other tourist attacks and robberies include:

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

A family of five robbed at the roadside whilst camping in their van at Oturere Stream, 25km south of Turangi

Two German tourists attacked in Paihia, Northland

Two American tourists were robbed at Shipwreck Bay in Northland whilst sandboarding

Asian woman, (probably Japanese) age 22, raped in her room by 2 teenagers in a home invasion in Opotiki, Northland

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

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 by a youth in Taupo.

German woman Birgit Brauer murdered near New Plymouth.

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.”

Irish man Robby O’Brien beaten up in Westport.

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.