(scroll down for update)
China has issued an advisory to its citizens about crime in Auckland, according to an article written by Lincoln Tan in today’s Herald. It is one of many foreign countries to have issued advisories and warnings about New Zealand, among them Great Britain, The Netherlands and the Philippines.
In 2009 the Dutch government warned its nationals travelling to New Zealand of “serious crime” after a second Dutch tourist was raped at a campsite in the space of two years. See “Dutch Government Warns of New Zealand Crime”.
In 2008 the New Zealand-Japan society issued warnings to Asian people to be careful of their personal security and to travel in groups, other Asian groups said the country was fast losing its reputation as a “safe country to visit”.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued an advisory on its website, warning its citizens about rising crime and theft in Auckland.
“Many Asian tourists have become victims of burglaries in Auckland, New Zealand,” says the advisory, written in Chinese script.
“Some Chinese tourists have had their valuables stolen after leaving them in their cars.”
The advisory, posted on Monday, does not appear on the Ministry’s English-language website.
It said those who intended to visit New Zealand should take extra safety precautions, look after their valuables and refrain from carrying large amounts of cash.
Last month, police warned Asian families living in Auckland to take down national flags from their homes, keep religious festivals low-key and avoid personalised plates on cars to deter burglars. ( ed. read Asian families turn homes into fortresses to repel burglars)
A spokeswoman for the People’s Republic of China Consulate in Auckland said the advisory had been issued after several Chinese people had their belongings stolen while visiting the region.
China is New Zealand’s fourth-largest tourism market. More than 100,000 visitors came from there in the year to April, overtaking South Korea and Japan.
A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said New Zealand was not concerned about the advisory.
Really?! that rather sounds like New Zealand doesn’t give a damn and adds just another insult to that dished out by Russel Norman’s self serving, flag waving antics.
Perhaps Mr McCully should remember that Chinese tourists do have the option of visiting other countries besides New Zealand. There will be many tourism operators wincing at his brusque comments today.
The report finished up with some remarks made by the spokesman about New Zealander’s perception of crime, which seems oddly introverted.
“Most New Zealanders would acknowledge that those warnings relate to genuine risks, and we’re all aware of them,” he said.
The spokesman said Auckland was probably singled out because it had a significant Chinese population and was the international gateway to New Zealand.”
We’re surprised that the advisory only covers Auckland and wonder why it has been restricted, perhaps to allow Kiwis to save some face?
There have been a number of attacks and robberies of Chinese citizens in other parts of the country recently – most notably in Northland, where a party of three were robbed and beaten at Ninety Mile Beach. Many small businesses are owned by Chinese people in New Zealand and they suffer frequent attacks and robberies, e.g. read Chinese dairy owner stabbed in Napier.
Attacks on Korean citizens will have been noted too, it will interesting to see if that country follows China’s lead.
The Herald has invited its readers to comment on the wider question of “Should Asian tourists be warned about crime before visiting NZ?” here are some of the responses
Mercy, Mt Wellington
Shouldn’t all tourists be warned? Although NZ looks benign from the outside, it is not at all like that really. We have an underclass of criminal activity that has grown over the years. Fortunately, most of us don’t come across it every day but then we don’t advertise ourselves as easy targets, we have our social networks in place, our cash in the banks and know instinctively where not to go or what not to do and we know what the laws are. Tourists are more vulnerable.
Yeah Yeah (North Shore City)
Totally agree. New Zealand used to be a safe place. It certainly is not now. The number of tourists assaulted and raped is a bloody disgrace. We should contract out the punishment to China and those responsible would be executed. Problem solved.
Proud Citizen (NZ)
If the Chinese Tourists, Students and Residents start having faith and trust in our Police Force and started reporting crime from petty crime to murder then perhaps they wouldn’t be seen as easy targets – New Zealand is VERY different to China in many ways and Asians need to start adopting New Zealand culture and morals.
“Auckland police are warning Asians living on the North Shore they are the targets of a brazen burglar entering homes while the families are in. Police issued a warning today saying residents in the Northcote and Takapuna area should keep their doors and windows locked, and not admit any stranger into their homes.
The warning follows reports in the past two days of four separate burglaries in the suburbs where it appears that the same criminal is targeting Asian families. In each of these burglaries a man matching the same description entered the home of Asian families, through open doors and windows and began taking small, valuable items.
This happened when the families were in the house. When he was disturbed by the occupants, he asked for money, and then casually left the homes, taking the stolen items with him, said Senior Sergeant Mark Fergus.
The burglar is described as a male Maori or Pacific Islander, aged between 30 and 40 years old. He is about 180 cm tall and of medium build…”