Nick Aubertin Named as Tourist Injured in Christchurch Attack, Ugly Racism Still at Work in NZ


Nicholas Aubertin was in New Zealand on a year long working holiday visa. He planned to help out in the Christchurch rebuild but was left with a broken jaw for speaking French

Nicholas Aubertin was in New Zealand on a year long working holiday visa. He planned to help out in the Christchurch rebuild but was left with a broken jaw for speaking French

One of the victims of the Christchurch tourist assault we wrote about 3 days ago has been named as British backpacker Nicholas Aubertin, aged 24. Nick was in the country on a year long working holiday. Unfortunately New Zealand is living up to its reputation for brutal and violent attacks on overseas visitors.

Nicholas (Nick) Aubertin and two other tourists were subjected to a brutal attack outside the Vagabond Backpackers hostel in Christchurch.

During the attack Nick was told to “speak English“. He suffered a broken jaw and another man sustained eye injuries in the unprovoked assault.

Bashing tourists still a national pastime in NZ

It seems the attack happened because a gang of youths took offence at Nick and a friend talking in French. Being outside a backpackers didn’t help much either, as it clearly identified them as foreigners. Neither of them were to know that bashing tourists has become New Zealand’s unofficial national pastime.

You can read a report of the attack on the news site The interviewer tried desperately hard to lead Nick into saying how the attack hasn’t destroyed his enjoyment of New Zealand/what a great place it is/he is continuing his holiday (all the usual things the NZ press has to use to make potential overseas readers feel more secure). But it failed. Nick told the paper he was leaving New Zealand and heading for France quote “on a trip that was planned before the attack“.

Compare that to what Nick wrote about himself in his online profiles. Nick actually planned to stay in NZ until November and he was in Christchurch to help out with earthquake reconstruction work…

I recently graduated from Exeter University with a BA in French and Russian with a merit in French language.

Since I was lacking career ideas I’ve opted to spend the next year (Nov 2014- Nov 2015) working and travelling around New Zealand. This will allow me to pursue my passions which are travelling and photography. It also permits me to immerse myself in a different culture and meet different people.

For the better part of 4 months I shall be working on a vineyard but I also intend on working on organic farms and doing manual labour in Christchurch in order to help its reconstruction following the earthquake of 2011.

It was when I studied in Russia in 2012-2013, that I discovered the wonders of living abroad amongst different cultures.

Whatever career path I decide to pursue later on in life, it must be one that allows travel and meeting different people.

You can read more about Nick Aubertin’s travels here


Bashing tourists now a national pastime – Nov 2013

Now that the tourism season has arrived, and in light of the recent tourist attacks over Christmas, we thought it pertinent to re-vist an article we wrote in from January of this year titled “Bashing tourists now a national pastime?”.

It seems that almost a year after writing it New Zealand is still a risky tourism destination  and no effective strategies have been implemented to reduce crimes against visitors.

Here’s the article:

Bashing Tourists Now a National Pastime?

Those are not our words but a direct quote from a thread on the forum, a community comprised mostly of New Zealanders. It’s an interesting thought isn’t it, as are some of the replies.

But first, here’s how the discussion started, followed by a bit of the background.

“Welcome to New Zealand. 100% Violent.

The link referred to in the post is a NZ Herald report about  2 German tourists getting beaten up and robbed in Kaitaia on 22 January.

They had inadvertently become the victims of crime because they slept overnight in a lay-by whilst waiting for replacement parts for their broken-down vehicle. Unfortunately for them they fell prey to something that has plagued other campervan tourists in New Zealand (read posts tagged Campervan) with every fresh incident doing nothing to improve the country’s image abroad.

The Herald report said:

“The tourists told police the two men smashed the van’s windows then demanded the tourists’ wallets, which were handed over. One of the victims was struck in the face, although it was not clear whether that was with a fist or the piece of wood that was used to smash the windows. Police were still looking for the second offender at edition time yesterday..”  more here

Fortunately police have one man in custody, 20 year old Devaray Heremaia Cole.

The first reply to the Trademe thread went like this, remember these are New Zealanders talking.

It’s not new….been plenty that have been murdered as well.”

Perhaps this person was thinking about the recent killing of 64 year old tourist, Robert Murray Wilkinson in Waihi Beach ? a crime that deeply shocked the quiet coastal community…

…A Kaikoura business man left this message below the article, we’re posting it here to show how some people regard visitors to New Zealand. It seems that tourist bashing has indeed become New Zealand’s national pastime.

touristread on