Swiss Campers’ Tyres Slashed In Kaikoura- updated

Update 3 March 2012:  For background to the issue of freedom camping in Hapuku read Hapuku Local Damaged Road To Deter Freedom Campers

Know any more about this story and the people involved? we’d like to hear from you please leave a message.

We’re saddened to hear of  another malicious act against camping tourists in New Zealand, this time in the township of Kaikoura, famous for its whale watching activities and beautiful scenery.  An ideal spot for  a holiday to get away from it all, or so you’d think.

This appeared in the Cops Corner section of the Marlborough Express on 7 March 2012. Note the tourists had their own toilet facilities

“A campervan had two tyres slashed out at Hapuku on Thursday the 1st March.

Now I understand that freedom camping has its downside to the community, but this was a fully self contained campervan occupied by two middle-aged women from Switzerland.

These visitors were camping respectfully, not causing any issues to anyone or the beautiful environment.

This is not the sort of image that we want to portray to tourists who will be certain to spread the word of this incident in their homeland…”

Hapuku is  a remote area about 14 kms north of Kaikoura township (see Streeview showing a campervan below)

There have been a number of attacks on Freedom Campers in New Zealand,  some locals aren’t too pleased when they don’t use regular campsites.

This is not just because campsite owners are losing out on fees but because of the  insanitary mess some campers leave behind. Especially in vans that don’t have an built-in WC, unlike those used by the Swiss women.

We think a good PR campaign aimed at both tourists and local people will go a long way to sorting out the misunderstandings, and ensuring visitors get to enjoy their New Zealand holidays.

Open Season declared on Freedom Campers

The situation got so heated at one point that the president of the NZ  Motor Caravan Association  called for freedom campers to be shot. This  is from a blog in February 2010

The president of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, Dick Waters, may have wounded himself in his own foot after issuing another call yesterday for freedom campers to be “shot” if they use vans that don’t have their own toilet facilities. Mr Waters, is reported as having said yesterday that “Messy freedom campers who trundle around the country in sleeper vans without toilets or self-contained utilities should be “shot”.  It followed similar comments he made in January

His remarks will probably touch a raw nerve with campers who have suffered assaults and robberies whilst camping in New Zealand (see posts tagged Campsite Assaults)

Effectively declaring open season on certain types of campers isn’t going to do much to enhance the country’s tarnished reputation for visitor safety is it?  Even if the comment was meant to shock, rather than be taken literally, it may cause certain elements of NZ society to feel less than ‘gracious’ towards visitors, who may be now viewed as little more than vermin…

Sadly it seems that’s what may have happened in Kaikoura.

We hope that the women made it home safely to Switzerland and next time they decide on a camping holiday they chose somewhere a little more tolerant of its guests.

See also:

Open season on Freedom Campers well underway in New Zealand

…A couple camping in Tamatea Point in Pakawau were lucky to escape with their lives after someone ” shot at, smashed and attempted to set fire to their campervan” at 5.50 one morning,  presumably they were sleeping in it at the time.

The holidaymakers, a “44-year-old male New Zealander and a 36-year-old New Zealand-residing Chinese woman,” from Hamilton…


A group of freedom campers at Waitapu Bridge in Golden Bay was threatened with violence by local residents with pig (hunting) dogs, if they did not leave the site. (link) and in another incident a couple of campers at Haast Beach were threatened and when they moved into Haast township were threatened again.

Read more:

For posts about Kaikoura click here

For posts about Swiss tourists click here

Reddit thread: WTF is wrong with Kaikoura…?

3 thoughts on “Swiss Campers’ Tyres Slashed In Kaikoura- updated

  1. From the link Uniculture provided:

    A gang culture in Melbourne’s west was almost at crisis point with New Zealand families exporting their troubled teens into Victoria, according to veteran youth worker Les Twentyman.

    “A lot of these kids are being sent over from New Zealand because they have been involved in gangs there and its only adding to our problem,” Mr Twentyman said.

    “It’s almost at a crisis situation at the moment,” he said.

    This is obviously a serious problem for Melbourne if the situation is reaching crisis point, the city has had to endure the violence of New Zealand’s youth gang culture for some years:

    A YOUNG thug member of a gang linked to face-slashing armed robberies has turned fugitive in Melbourne after failed bids to deport him.

    Braeghan McLeod is at large 14 months after being ordered from Australia because of his connection to box-cutter attacks in Melbourne.

    An arrest warrant has been issued for McLeod, 20, who is on the loose after failing to appear in court over a burglary charge.

    Victoria Police has released a photo of McLeod in the hope it can assist in his capture after his failure to turn up for an appearance at Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court.

    New Zealand-born McLeod was ordered back to his home country by the Immigration Minister last year on character grounds, before a tribunal overturned the decision.

    He is linked to a gang, some of whose victims were left scarred for life after being slashed with box-cutters and bashed with hammers.

    The Administrative Appeals Tribunal later overruled the decision to cancel his visa and, within weeks, McLeod was charged with burglary.

    His behaviour since arriving in Australia aged 16 led to Immigration Minister Chris Evans’ ruling that he did not pass the nation’s character test.

    Australia seems to be well aware of New Zealand’s violent gang culture. This was published in 2007:

    Gang violence marring NZ’s image

    It’s hardly the image that New Zealand authorities want to show the world – some 3,500 members of two violent gangs constantly at war in one small nation.

    Otherwise idyllic towns are divided by such enmity that wearing the wrong coloured t-shirt can get you killed.

    On Saturday night, a two-year-old girl was caught in the middle of the gang warfare, killed in her home by a drive-by shooter in the north island town of Wanganui.

    She was evidently murdered in a feud between the two largest gangs in the country – the Mongrel Mob and Black Power.

    “A Black Power house was fired upon and the information we have indicates that it was a Mongrel Mob member who was responsible,” Wanganui police officer Inspector Duncan Macleod said.

    It is still uncertain what sparked the shooting, but Macleod says the gangs are trouble across New Zealand.

    “It is recognised that they (the gangs) all have organised-crime connections. In smaller towns they have a greater influence than in the larger centres,” he says.

    “They do nothing positive in my view. They are only there for one purpose, to do anti-social and criminal activities.”

    The death of the toddler has angered people across New Zealand and led to soul searching about why the country has been wracked with so much gang-violence for so long.

    In February last year, a member of the Mongrel Mob suffered a serious head injury after a run-in with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in which shots were fired in Wanganui.

    A woman caught in the crossfire between two gangs was shot and wounded in Christchurch in 1996 as she sat in her car.

    In 1975, a member of the Highway 61 Motorcycle Club, Bradley Haora, was killed by Hells Angels members in Auckland.

    A riot at Moerewa in 1979 between a gang called Storm Troopers and Black Power saw an attempt to throw a police sergeant into a burning van. One gang member was shot in the leg during the incident.

    University of Canterbury academic Greg Newbold has studied New Zealand gang culture at first hand and written a book on the subject. His knowledge of the country’s violent sub-culture comes from spending five years in jail for drug crimes in the 1970s.

    “The story about the Mongrel Mob is that it was a bunch of young kids who had been released from a boys home,” Dr Newbold said.

    “They were Pakeha (white) kids.

    “The magistrate evidently referred to them as a pack of mongrels. This is the legend. No one really knows when it was.”

    Unfortunately warring youths from New Zealand are also involved with extreme violence in Australia’s schools, not just their own. There is an interesting discussion following on from this statement on one Australia web site.

    More of those ethnic gangs

    It was clear straight away that the extraordinary attack on teachers and students at Merrylands High School was the work of an ethnic gang, even if it’s taken until this morning to hear it:

    GLORIFICATION of American gang violence may be behind a horrific schoolyard attack involving five boys as young as 14 armed with machetes and baseball bats…. Members of a group calling itself Gee40, made up of youths from Merrylands and Guildford, carried out the brazen, violent rampage, pupils told The Daily Telegraph…. The gang – a loose gathering of youths who commit petty crime – is understood to be comprised of members of Pacific Islander and Maori background based around Guildford and Merrylands.

  2. It might still be bad with ultrafast broadband as they would get into trouble as well….look NZ teens are blamed for Melbourne gang violence ( so that constitutes one of NZ export industries….spreading ferally and virally…
    Kids would not change to better adults if they do not get good grounding from NZ. Something is seriously lacking in the NZ society, education and family lives. A teacher once said that instead of being proud of getting good grades in school, the underclass find solace and fame in doing some silly things like stealing the teacher’s pen, or doing some other vandalism for eg, breaking letterboxes and showing off to the classmates what they had damaged. This sounds like gang culture too. Just ask the councils how many glass panels for bus stops they have to replace monthly or yearly due to vandalism. They should start designing their bus stops without glass as tax payers eventually have to pay for such vandalism.

  3. In that Reddit thread you linked to htttp://

    “If we had faster, unlimited broadband, this wouldn’t have happened These kids would have been at home playing WOW instead”

    That woud’ve kept the ****** occupied.

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