“The Word About NZ Is Getting Out” Telegraph UK Readers Have Their Say

UK's Daily Telegraph report about Phillip Cottrell

Thanks to Moonlight, a regular contributor to this blog who sent us the following message about comments left on a Daily Telegraph report about the death of Scottish journalist Phillip Cottrell.

Mr Cottrell was mugged as he walked home through the streets of Wellington, capital city of New Zealand, in daylight. He’d been working a night shift editing news stories at Radio New Zealand. He was found unconscious by a taxi driver outside the Central Baptist Church, next to the Dominion Post’s offices. For more about the circumstances surrounding his death read our blog from yesterday Murdered Journalist Philip Cottrell was British Expat

He was a passionate and enthusiastic traveller and by way of a tribute a link to his wonderful travel blog Airpoints Adventure may be found at the side of this page.

Moonlight said

“One of the most viewed news in the Telegraph today, notice the comments, the word about NZ is getting out!


and indeed it is. People with experience of New Zealand know it has a serious crime problem but an over reliance on attracting migrants and tourists to the country is a powerful reason to downplay reports of crime, especially that perpetrated against visitors to the country. See our crime facts and stats page for further information.

These are some of the comments left on the British newspaper’s site:


“I have never felt at risk in Australia, but in my life previously in NZ I have often found myself in dangerous situations. There are areas in NZ I would never walk through at any time of the day.

My brother was knifed and robbed in Auckland’s main street (Queen street) in the evening. Nice place for a holiday but watch where you go and who is around you especially in the evening.”


“Yes both dangerous. Sydney and Melbourne are both prone to catch the unaware. Heroin seems to be a problem as I remember from 10 years ago.
New Zealand has a different problem. The original Maouri population harbours a very real grudge against the white ‘invaders’. I have been in pubs and bars where it was openly stated much they hated white all people. It´s a violent culture. Check out the film Once Were Warriors, probably one of NZ´s finest films. Beautiful country though, and Australia. Very different vibes.”


“This gentlemen is an unfortunate victim of a problem plaguing Auckland and Wellington. Large groups of young men roam about in packs at night looking for guys walking alone that they can beat up. I know many guys who have been beaten or have been lucky to escape a beating. The streets are very, very unsafe. The more people talk about this sad, sad state of affairs, the more chance something might actually be done about it.

RIP Mr Cottrell.”


“I was amazed to read that NZ had one of the highest (if not the highest) murder rate in the ‘white’ English-speaking world. My understanding is that that has come down considerably but is still about 50% higher than the UK. Odd.”

3 thoughts on ““The Word About NZ Is Getting Out” Telegraph UK Readers Have Their Say

  1. There’s no question that NZ’s getting more violent. It was always a fairly thuggish place, but years of poor government have left a huge Maori underclass with no hope. The place has a bleak future. Anyone with any talent or drive heads overseas, usually for Australia.

  2. We understand that two teenage males were arrested in connection with the assault and death of Mr Cottrell.

    It’s a strange type of ‘sport’ that takes two young men out on the streets at 5 am looking for trouble and there is a suggestion that the attack may have been premeditated and have a gang connection.

    We doubt that the full facts of this case will be made public. Its not a good reflection on law and order in the capital to admit that things like this are not random attacks and journalists around the world are already very interested in following the outcome of this case.

    We expect to see the two suspects enter gulty pleas and the whole thing forgotten about as quickly as possible.

  3. According to a New Zealand Herald article:

    Phillip Cottrell was killed, possibly because he “was a a weak, inoffensive, effeminate-looking guy, according to a New Zealand sociologist. “The attack was motivated by sport.”

    It’s possible he was targeted because he was “effeminate-looking.” How very distressing that gay bashing would be equated with “sport” in one of the most sports obsessed of nations.

    Phillip Cottrell’s death is so tragic, and it’s a sobering reminder of how vulnerable we are here in New Zealand to unprovoked violence. Not far from where I live a woman was killed a few years ago after a botched handbag snatching in the parking lot of a busy shopping mall. These are just a few examples of many, but for various reasons these two have affected me particularly.

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