Another Hammer Blow for ‘Safe New Zealand’ Reputation After French Tourists Attacked in Dargaville

totara street dargaville

Totara Street, Dargaville – popular overnight spot for campervans. (Google Street View)

New Zealand’s dubious reputation as a ‘safe’ tourist destination took another blow yesterday after an attack on two French tourists. If you’re thinking about a touring holiday our advice is to stick to reputable camp sites and never sleep overnight at the side of the road.

The young french couple were asleep in their Toyota Previa campervan on Totara Street, Dargaville last night when two young thugs armed with a hammer decided to relieve them of their worldly possessions.

French tourists robbed with hammer, assaulted |
Police in Dargaville in Northland are investigating the aggravated robbery, which happened about 1am on Sunday.One of the alleged offenders was said to be armed with a hammer.

Police say the two men demanded money from the French couple, and both then punched the male victim. The Frenchman received what police described as a “moderate injury to his face”, and the two alleged offenders ran away with some cash.

“A police dog subsequently tracked the two men to a location nearby where they were arrested,” police said in a statement. “The stolen cash was recovered, however the hammer is still unaccounted for.” source

Lawless North

Dargaville lies within New Zealand’s ‘lawless north‘. Northland earned the description after many attacks on what are perceived to be wealthy tourists, in a region of New Zealand blighted with high levels of poverty, drug use and social deprivation. In truth, all regions of New Zealand have the same dangers as Northland, especially for tourists.

Police have arrested two offenders, ages 18 and 19 and charged them with aggravated assault and cannabis possession.

There’s been no statement as to what police are doing to warn tourists not to park in the area, or whether street patrols are likely to be increased to prevent copycat attacks.

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French Public Get to Hear About Tourist Crime in New Zealand (Feb 2013)

Crime against tourists in New Zealand is finally getting the international coverage it deserves after two young French women’s campervan was broken into at Rabbit Island, near Nelson.

Clémence De Montil and Carline Chenard  are likely to write about their experiences in one of the websites we have in our “Other sites we like” links in the side bar Frogs-in-NZ.

We fully expect these two women to become the object of a media focused charm offensive any moment now.…

A report in the Nelson Mail said

A dream campervan holiday for two young French women is in tatters after an opportunistic thief broke into their van at Rabbit Island and took their valuables – and their story is likely to be read across France.

Carline Chenard and Clemence Montil, both 23, lost their passports, cash, bank cards and cameras on Friday afternoon when someone smashed the side window of the small campervan and removed their daypacks from under a blanket on the floor.

They had arrived in Nelson the day before and had been looking forward to writing all about their visit on the French traveller website Frogs-in-NZ, which has organised the van for five months in return for their reports.

This theft hit the news the day after a gun man robbed at least 4 parties of visitors at well known Auckland tourist spots – the Domain and Mount Eden. The man discharged his weapon into the ground as he made his escape. Read Armed Thief on the run in Auckland, in the NZ Herald.

We’ve blogged countless times about tourist vehicles, especially campervans, being targets for thieves in New Zealand yet tourists continue to be seen as easy targets. Read Visitors ‘often targeted’ by criminals in NZ by to realise just how common this problem is… read on

READ: All articles tagged tourist attacks and campervans.

4 thoughts on “Another Hammer Blow for ‘Safe New Zealand’ Reputation After French Tourists Attacked in Dargaville

  1. Radio NZ ran a story and interview about two days ago regarding the strong links between our two countries,I guess we have all got over the fact that the only act of foreign terrorism in recent times was committed by the French government sinking the Green Peace ship Rainbow Warrior at its slip on the Auckland CBD waterfront anyway I’ve also moved on from that and hopefully the dead photographers family is also at peace.
    The point which bothers me is that the dictator of N.Z ,who’s daughter lives in France ,seems to have an undue influence on the media,oh ,did I also mention that he is the minister of tourism and maybe a little embarrassed about this?
    Maybe he could invest half the resources in fixing the problems of violence and lack of education in the provinces as he does covering this shit up and tourists might have a nice time and leave this country without lifelong physical and emotional scars.

  2. Anyway ,news reports tonight that the intrepid Frenchies intend to continue their journey even after being robbed bashed and threatened with a hammer ,good for them eh……word to the wise if you’re reading Frenchies ,This is not an isolated incident and you got off relatively lightly ,tourist season is over you will be the only available prey at most locations and should quit while you have a head,locals are to scared to do what you are doing .

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