(For background read Vicious Sex Attack on 5 Year Old Belgian Tourist)
New Zealanders were very vociferous and quickly took to the net to express their dismay at last night’s sex attack and savage beating of a 5 year old Belgian tourist at the Club Habitat campsite in Turangi
The serious assault took place just yards opposite the local police station and less than 6 kilometres from the low security Tongariro-Rangipo Prison, one of three correctional facilities in the Waikato.
Already people on Trade Me forums are saying that law and order in the township suffers because of a level of criminality among supporters of prisoners who move into the community to be close to their relatives and associates. They also say that ‘undesirables’ lodge in the area after their release from prison, making the area unsuitable for tourists.
The township also has its own chapter of the Mongrel Mob and whilst their activities may not affect many people outside of their own circle its the gang prospects (young men seeking to join the gang by performing an act to gain membership) who are often the ones that cause the most trouble and inflict the most damage.
As of September 2011 26 offenders have escaped from the Tongariro Rangipo Prison in the last 10 years.
Among them, in August 2011, Lex Miller, 48, an inmate with a history of serious violence escaped from the prison. An off -duty police officer eventually spotted him at a camp ground in Gisborne and he was taken back into custody.
In 2008 murderer Stuart Harrison and robber and sex offender Sumit Narayan escaped and in 2009 Christopher Thomas Watkins walked out of the prison whilst serving a life sentence for murder.
The first statements from New Zealanders were published on the forum community on Trade Me.
Firstly there are comparisons with other countries, with the feeling that New Zealand is probably less safe than many and that there is an image problem.
“New Zealand’s Dark, Horrible Secret”
“I do agree the presented tourism/immigration image for this country seems way out of line on many levels.
Was it on this board I saw someone suggest every street corner has a volunteer selling battered baby dolls as “New Zealand Souvenirs” for a day (or a week?) to try to get the message to the Government that they ought to concentrate hard on cleaning up at home before mincing about adding more high polish to our “image“?”
“Tourists!!! You have no idea how nieve tourists can be with the marketing of Safe, Green New Zealand. I look after Tourists and they need reminding quite a bit to not believe the safe and friendly kiwi way they get sold is part myth. Then again even Kiwis let their guard down when they go on holiday and sadly their are those mongrels who pray on that relaxation.
Last year a couple of non descripts brazenly broke into a car in one of the busy Tourist hotspots near Turangi just metres from other people and group of shuttle drivers. They never got caught to risky to detain them and to many places to hide.”
“I would NEVER and I repeat NEVER leave my children in an unlocked caravan at night. Was the Madelaine McCain case not a lesson for people about this????
I make my 15 year old lock the door of our house when she is home alone – and we live in a fantastic area.”
“But as has been said on here before, this bloody country is sold overseas as being a safe haven for tourists, when in reality we are a dangerous destination.”
“Its not ok for us to judge the parents, they probably came from a much safer environment than New Zealand. We know how many sicko’s we have around, they probably bought the ‘land of milk and honey’ line, green green pleasant New Zealand. I feel so sorry for them.”
“Sadly, they probably thought New Zealand was the clean, green, civilised place it used to be… I hope that poor child recovers quickly. This story is sickening any way you look at it.”
Must be a European thing to do leaving your kids alone in holiday accommodation. Lets not forget Maddy McCann. She was left alone in a similar situation. Makes you wonder after all the coverage that case got why anyone would leave little ones anywhere in the world alone when your not at your own home or country.
Many expressed their disgust in posts like these
“Unfortunately since the safe places for the mentally disturbed have closed down, they are in the community and a lot of them live in camping grounds because it’s their cheapest option. Bring back the facilities to look after these people, where they are happy and safe amongst themselves. The wider community is also safer.”
“You can probably already guess the type of animal that assaults a 5 year old sleeping girl, especially in Turangi, man the people we have living in this country…”
“Holly S**T! That sucks. Friggin scum bag a**hole. Why would you do that to a random person let alone a poor wee 5 year old girl. Hope they catch the c**t. Excuse my swearing but that just so low and it hits home as my daughter is going camping over xmas new year.”
“Enough is enough, I sat here crying over what has happened to the children in our country. I am sick of saying this shouldnt be happening. I want to start doing something to stop it!
We need tougher sentences for a start, I have no idea what I can do or support to start making a change. If anyone can guide me I would welcome the advice.
Children deserve love!”
And migrants living in New Zealand joined in with their feelings about child brutality in New Zealand
“been here 5 years. time to move my family back home. sick of the child beatings and such thats on the news everyday. you kiwis have a shocking reputation overseas,the way you treat your children”
Trip Advisor Reviews.
One poster gave links to a number of Trip Advisor reviews about Club Habitat, here are some of them
“Anywhere but here” Reviewed July 13, 2011
“All I can say is either find somewhere else or drive to Taupo. This place is dark and dingy. From the motorhome sites it is a long walk to the bathrooms, no lighting etc. The TV in the lounge didn’t work, no DVD’s for hire, overall a bad experience.
Credit to the lady at reception, she was lovely, however the place appears to be run down with no attention to maintenance.
We ended up leaving after a few hours and going somewhere else which was added expense but it wasn’t worth staying.
Not many options in Turangi if you are in a motorhome. My recommendation would be drive the bit further to Taupo and stay at the Top Ten – its amazing.
Stayed July 2011, traveled with family”
“Certainly would not stay again” Reviewed January 24, 2011
“Website way out of date, including prices. We stayed in a ‘refurbished unit’, that was in need of refurbishment.. Drab and washed out looking. Cheap cutlery, plates etc. Managers blame owners for everything and say they have no ‘power’. Certainly not value for money. At a peak time, occupancy was sparse. I guess their reputation has become known. Certainly would not stay again.
Stayed January 2011, traveled on business”
“Schlechteste Unterkunft, in der wir jemals waren”
“Der Campingplatz mit Motel-Units wurde uns vom i-Site (Touristeninformation) in Wellington vermittelt. Ganz offensichtlich wusste die Mitarbeiterin nicht, um welche Absteige es sich hierbei handelt.
Es gab kaum Gäste und das aus gutem Grund. Unser Motelzimmer war nicht nur überaltert, sondern absolut schäbig und dreckig. Wenn wir nicht schon im i-Site gezahlt hätten, wären wir sofort weitergefahren. Die Tapete löste sich schon von der Wand, den Teppichboden hätten wir niemals mit nackten Füßen betreten wollen und das Bett war winzig und durchgelegen. Die Handtücher waren voller Flecken und Haare und als wir damit zur Rezeption gegangen sind, haben wir nur mit großem Unmut andere Handtücher bekommen (auch diese durfte man sich nicht genau anschauen).
Prädikat: nicht im geringsten empfehlenswert!”
Links to the TradeMe quotes