The darker side of the seaside town of Kaikoura is getting a lot of exposure of late. What with tourists getting hospitalised by marauding mobs, seals being clubbed to death and vacationing US soldiers getting robbed.
Now we hear that an immigrant couple, Ms Irvine-Boag 54, and her partner, Tony Neumann, 53 are moving out of the town because of two recent violent street assaults and an anonymous note telling them to “get out” of town.
They moved to the coastal community in 2008 but say they soon encountered hostility from the locals who treated them as outsiders.
Ms Irvine-Boag said their neighbour refused to speak to them, while pavement signs for her business were repeatedly moved.
“You can be there 40 or 50 years and you’re still not accepted,” she said.
“There’s a lot of viciousness.”
The final straw was a violent attack that left her partner needing stitches to his mouth and lip.
Read details of the assaults here in the Marlborough Express.
Ms Irvine-Boag said she could not understand why two “semi-retired” people in their 50s were targeted.
After what felt like a long, “very cold” winter, the couple put their house on the market and moved to Christchurch, vowing they would “never return to live in Kaikoura”.
The move was well timed, given that Kaikoura is gearing up for the New Years Eve celebrations. No doubt there will be an enhanced police presence on the streets this year. Read Fights mar holidays (1 January 2011)
But, we have a feeling this couple may be moving from frying pan to fire. Christchurch, which has an unsavory reputation as the murder capital of New Zealand, is still suffering from frequent earthquakes, some of which have been strong enough to cause further damage to buildings and send shoppers running for safety on Boxing Day.
Is nowhere safe in New Zealand these days?