Following on from our post Tourists Continue To Be Targets For Criminals In New Zealand on 2 December, we’re appalled to hear the news that more tourists have been targetted by New Zealand’s bogan criminals.
New Zealand has one of the OECD’s most rapidly widening gaps between rich and poor, unfortuantely crime against tourists is just one manifestation of the deep inequalities within its society.
The latest crimes (not all are reported to the media, some only come to light when the offenders appear in court) were committed against Australian tourists, three of them schoolies from New South Wales (perhaps they should’ve gone to Bali?) in two separate robberies.
An Australian psychologist and his family had been in Rotorua only a few hours when their campervan was broken into and possessions worth more than $10,000 stolen. Clinton Schultz said their van was cleaned out while they were at a birthday party. “Everything was gone.” source Mr Schultz was with his wife Lozen McDiarmid and their two young children.
Napier, Hawkes Bay
“Three teenage Australian students on holiday in Hawke’s Bay at the end of their school year were robbed of $218 by thugs who leapt out of a car on Napier’s Marine Parade and demanded their cash.” the 17 & 18 year olds were quietly sitting on a bench when a car full of drunk thugs stopped and ‘rolled them’ source
Considering that these are just the latest in a succession of crimes against visitors to New Zealand what advice are we giving to anyone considering a vacation in New Zealand?
Don’t. Just don’t go there.
But if you must travel to New Zealand, leave your valuables at home. Don’t use a campervan and don’t carry more than a few dollars in cash around with you.
Both the British and Australian foreign offices have had the sense to issue the following advice to travellers to New Zealand, you can’t say you weren’t warned.
Safety and Security – Crime (UK)
“Street crimes 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) have increased. There has also been an increase in the number of thefts from hotel 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 rooms, but use safe boxes when available. Keep passports, travellers’ cheques, credit cards, etc separate.”
Money and valuables (Australia)
“Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money in New Zealand, such as credit cards, travellers’ cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work in New Zealand.
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers’ cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While travelling, don’t carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.”
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For more posts about crimes against tourists, which include rapes and serious assaults, in New Zealand read all our blogs tagged Tourist Attacks