International Student Attacked At Nelson College – Updated

As the day progressed further details have been released about the alleged vicious attack that was perpetrated on an 16 year old international student at a South Island college on Thursday last week.

“The arrest of two students at Nelson College in connection with a serious assault and mugging on another student at the school has “stunned” the school’s principal.

“We are devastated. I’ve got people in tears, staff members. We are really, really shocked by the whole thing,” Nelson College headmaster Gary O’Shea said.

“It’s going to be very difficult. The school is going to find this very difficult. It’s very unsettling when it’s within your own community.”

The students, who were of the same nationality, were arrested yesterday…” more in the Nelson Mail

Two teenage boys have already appeared in court and were refused bail. A third student was questioned by police but not charged.

According to an earlier report

“The pupil was allegedly attacked by three people he boarded with in the school’s hostel, police said yesterday. They described the attack as prolonged, with the victim being punched and kicked.” source

The nationality of the injured student and his attackers  has not been released.

Update 12 June 2011:

Two Nelson teenagers have admitted viciously beating a 16-year-old schoolmate in an hour-long ordeal before ordering him to strip to his underpants and lie in a crucifixion position while they mocked and took photographs of him… more here

They are due back in court on 22 June.

Racist Attack

In March 2008 three Korean students from Nelson College were subjected to an alleged racist attacked in the town of Nelson

Publicity over boarders caught growing cannabis and a racist attack on three Korean students earlier this year are partly behind a fall in Nelson College’s international student enrolments, its headmaster says.

Gary O’Shea said he “optimistically” expected there would be about 40 international students at the college next year, down from 50 this year.

Each international student paid $12,000 in tuition fees and a further $8700 if they boarded at the school, he said.

Last month, 11 boarders were discovered growing cannabis on college land in hills behind the school. As a result, five were forced to leave the school.

In March, three international students from South Korea were attacked by two men outside a Waimea Rd dairy in a racially motivated assault.

College board of trustees chairman Hugh Riley said at the school’s senior prizegiving that publicity around the cannabis incident was going to have a “financial cost”, with a drop in the number of international students and boarders predicted.

Mr O’Shea said: “Clearly, the racism publicity around the assault hasn’t helped either, but we just have to deal with it.”

Racism towards people from Asian backgrounds was a national issue, he said..” source Nelson Mail

You may also be interested in:  other blogs about Nelson

9 thoughts on “International Student Attacked At Nelson College – Updated

  1. P Ray
    The code –

    Terri Hu McFedries was the researcher who revealed most of the dissatisfaction. Asian students would have felt more comfortable talking to her than to extreme-native type Kiwis who, as we know, take negative comments about their country very poorly.

    Most Kiwis just want the money to pay their ginormous mortgages off, plus free babysitter or household help; they are very rarely interested in cultural exchange.

    “Back at the Auckland Academy the students take turns at reading aloud the Herald article about the Thai language tour scam. Its frontpage headline, “Students’ Nightmare in New Zealand”, is greeted with knowing laughter. These students are enjoying their international education – with each other.”

    I wonder how many Asian language sites are out there that would describe in more detail about students’ experiences. Could you have a look see? The papers make it seem like the students run around amok and gamble and get pregnant without the strict values imposed by their families back home, but this may be a reaction to poor handling of their host experiences or the fact that they are unprepared for the culture. But I am not Asian, and my interactions with Kiwis have been more statistically unpleasant or puzzling than they should have been, given that I am white, Western and speak English. So I wouldn’t automatically blame the lack of structure.

    Developing a screening test for migrants and students, to see how well they would fit in, would be a good idea.

    “All my problems seem to disappear when I go to the beach” true/false
    “I think cannabis is harmless and should be legalised” true/false
    “Words Are A Waste Of Time & Breath, Actions Speak For Themselves” true/false
    “It is always a better idea to make agreements relating to goods and services on the basis of a handshake than on a written agreement” true/false
    “Teeth are just tools – when they crumble or rot, they should just be pulled out” true/false
    “High prices are a worthwhile sacrifice you make to live in paradise” true/false
    “I start to feel loosened up after 4 or 5 drinks” true/false
    “I prefer not to talk in any depth to people I don’t know unless I have some immediate business with them” true/false
    “Sex work is a perfectly ok way for a young woman to get ahead in life” true/false
    “Sh–load is a standardised unit of measurement” true/false
    “Taking huge risks is just a part of life, and if sh– happens it’s your fault” true/false
    “People who don’t like a country they are visiting should fit in or f— off” true/false
    “Warm houses mean people are keeping unhealthy stale air inside” true/false
    “Spelling is not important, as long as you can understand what the person is saying” true/false
    “If you have trouble buying groceries, you aren’t growing enough vegetables” true/false
    “Customer service is for capitalist countries who want jobs to all be Disney fascist ones” true/false

    • It’s impossible to “fit in”
      when the lowest common denominator engage in behaviour that you find reprehensible…

      and the class of people you expect to have some commonality with
      think that you’re not worth talking to for any reason, except when you are useful.

      (Ramble coming on, hope you make it to the end):
      Asians get the short end of the stick for some interactions in NZ simply because it is not politically correct for people to stand up for them ESPECIALLY during a time of economic hardship.
      On the other hand I’ve noticed people fall over themselves to help Asian girls… even doing their assignments for them.

      Manying Ip has written a fair bit about injustices meted out to the Asian community, in particular as regards the Waitangi treaty (where their only expected function is as a cash cow and they are seen as outsiders if they speak up about it and their relation to it as people seeking a better life in NZ).

      One example sticks out to me, when an Asian religious group bought over the land occupying the Tamaki Girls College in 1995 for 165,000 dollars… they were physically removed by locals who claimed the land was stolen from them.
      The religious group never got their money back.

      I mean, on the one hand NZ says it is inclusive… and on the other hand that it’s only bi-cultural.

      I don’t disagree that there are Asians who get into sex work and gambling AND plagiarism.
      Unsurprisingly, many of these happen to be the ones unwilling to put in the hard yards for gaining qualifications, and are usually after the soft-touch degrees. Many of them are found in Management, and Business Studies (these being probably THE most plagiarised university courses in NZ)
      Others EXPECT lecturers to pass them purely because of the money (4 – 5x the fees they pay compared to domestic students).

      But on the other hand you also have lecturers in NZ that haul up innocent Asian students on the basis that they won’t fight such evil or unproven allegations. THAT happens too, and I’ve seen it first-hand.

      This is definitely going to be a polarising and inflammatory statement, but it seems those who plagiarise, gamble or sell their bodies, are comparatively more acceptable to the average New Zealander than Asian students wanting to be given a fair shake to mix with, learn from and move forward together with New Zealand and its citizens.
      I suppose the ride with a person who’s only interested in fun is very alluring for those who are short-sighted. Not to mention they’re not going to be around later to make you question your prejudices, or ask the uncomfortable questions.

      The eternal foreigner seems to be a trope very present… where I kept being reminded “Oh, you speak English so well, where did you learn it?” Even qualifications from British institutions attesting to that are scrutinised… it’s as if they have trouble believing a non-European can speak their language as or more fluently than them.

      As an experiment, watch whether people look in wonderment at an European who speaks broken Mandarin or Cantonese, calling that person an example of a cosmopolitan and culturally inclusive person.

      And then watch whether people look on in wonderment at an Asian who speaks the Queen’s English and other languages fluently besides… and see whether any compliments occur.

      I would simply say… if New Zealand wants to appreciate its Asian migrants (heck even migrants of other ethnicities)… play straight, emphasise on “no short cuts for anyone” with clear guidelines on how to be more involved in NZ society and appreciate that while visitors may be “guests in your home”… they also could have gone elsewhere to be a guest.

      • I’m fully aware I’m going to be hit with the idea of being a classist (for the first 2 statements above).
        Keep in mind I’m GENERALISING.
        You can find good and bad people everywhere
        you don’t interact with all the people you see everywhere.
        People are welcome to break out of their own comfort zones to speak to those they normally wouldn’t associate with or don’t know.
        Never forget safety is a priority and don’t be afraid to beg off meetings or encounters that you aren’t comfortable with.

  2. Meh, my comment seems a bit muddled.
    I’m saying that the expenses in accommodating the homestay student:
    are the charges borne by the homestay student,
    or does the government reimburse the person housing the student?
    Because if reimbursement happens with lax regulations, there is a good incentive to overcharge.
    Collecting money twice, first from the homestay student, and then from the government via reimbursement.

    • Do homestay families have to provide itemised receipts for the fees they charge their guests?
      Because if I understand it properly, they are reimbursed by the government: someone unscrupulous could overcharge the guest, claim some money from the guest as charges THEN also claim money from the government.
      Regulations about this do not seem to be clear,
      giving PLENTY of room for corruption and personal enrichment,
      at the expense of homestay students who aren’t given proper shelter or heating (some go to libraries to sleep!)

  3. Thanks Ben, we heard that the families had been called over to New Zealand to support their children after they were expelled.

    We think that they may be Korean and are puzzled as to why the nationality is not being revealed.

  4. The nationalities have not yet been relased, but it has been confirmed that the attackers were fellow international students from the same country of origin, all of whom used to be close friends until something split them against the victim (still unknown).

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