A 20 year old German tourist by the name of Soenke was attacked and robbed in Christchurch after being turned away from a hospital on Friday night.
He’d been holidaying in Kaikoura and developed an eye infection. Soenke was taken in an ambulance late at night to Christchurch hospital 2.5 hours away, presumably because Kaikoura didn’t have the facilities to treat him.
According to a report by the news site Stuff.co.nz
An unwell German tourist was attacked and robbed on the street after Christchurch Hospital staff refused him a bed for the night.
The 20-year-old had arrived in an ambulance from Kaikoura last Friday evening and was treated and discharged about 11pm.
Soenke, who did not want his surname used, said his doctor in Kaikoura felt his eye infection required urgent specialist treatment.
Soenke said he was then told by a hospital doctor his condition did not warrant an overnight stay. He was prescribed eye medication and told to stay in a nearby hostel…
But the hostel was full and he couldn’t find anywhere to stay. He returned to the hospital but was told he couldn’t remain in the waiting room.
After the hospital effectively stranded him he was turned away. He made his way to the Lichfield Street bus exchange. There he was beaten up by three men “just for fun.”
He went to the Lichfield St bus exchange, where he was attacked about 1.30am while using the free wi-fi to Skype his parents. His parents heard his screams as three men punched and kicked him.
“I lay on the ground and they kicked me just for fun. One kicked me in the face.”
The men stole his laptop, cellphone and his bag and its contents, including gifts and his passport.
The attack left him sore and bleeding from the lips and knee, but otherwise uninjured.
He found help at The Club nearby. Security guards phoned police, who arrived about 30 minutes later.
Soenke said he left the police station about 5.15am, convincing the officers to escort him back to Christchurch Hospital and request permission for him to sleep in the emergency waiting room for a couple of hours. That time the request was granted. He left about 7am…” more here
We’re appalled that treatment could not have been given to Soenke in Kaikoura and he was shipped off to Christchurch in the middle of the night. The town’s medical facilities must only operate during office hours.
We disgusted that no-one was able to offer him a bed or couch for the night and exposed a vulnerable, sick man to violence and robbery.
Gangs of intimidating “hood rats” have re-emerged in central Christchurch. Locals want the police to re-instate their inner city squad. Source “Hood rats scurry back”
Retailers, police and security workers say they have noticed a significant increase in miscreants congregating in the Re:Start container mall, the bus exchange and the Oxford Tce riverbank.
Their behaviour included intimidation, spitting, bad language, harassing shoppers for money, gang colours and graffiti, they said.
One security worker said those responsible appeared to be “hopeful gang member types” as young as 12.
Another guard said the attack on a German tourist at the bus exchange last Saturday was symptomatic of the increasing problems.
Tourists unwelcome in New Zealand
We’re left with a picture of a very uncaring, dismissive culture where tourists are unwelcome, until they hit the headlines as victims and there’s some reputation management needed.
His beating and robbery was the latest in a large catalogue of attacks on German tourists and are getting to be the norm. We wish him a full recovery and a safe onward journey out of New Zealand.
Embassies warn tourists about New Zealand but don’t go far enough
In March 2012 the German, Argentine and French embassies followed the British and Australian’s lead and issued theft prevention advice for their nationals in New Zealand.
In light of this attack and the recent savage beating of a young German couple in Whakatane on Boxing Day (read German Tourists Have Nightmare Injuries: Couple Savagely Beaten and Robbed in Whakatane, German Tourists Robbed in Invercargill) we highly recommend the German embassy now adds a personal safety section to its New Zealand advisory page.
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