Kaikohe, Kaitaia. New Zealand Communities in Crisis


Crime is out of control in many of New Zealand’s towns and cities

Update 26 July 2016: 10th homicide in seven years, third knife attack in a week – is Kaitaia the murder capital of NZ?

If you’re looking for violent crime, you can pick any town in New Zealand. It isn’t that hard.

Until the National led government started interfering with reporting requirements by making “procedural changes that wiped thousands of crimes off the stats” New Zealand had the fifth highest murder rate in the OECD and with good reason.

But you don’t have to just pick on Auckland if you’re looking for violent crime. It may be where shop keepers have had to take the law into their own hands and use hockey sticks to chase away armed robbers, where motorists are assaulted and mugged by itinerant windscreen washers at traffic lights, where women joggers get raped and murdered and young women attacked as they walk through parks, that’s too easy. Chose any small town. Take Palmerston North, for example, where there is an average of one sex attack a week.

From Kaitaia to Kaikoura to Invercargill, you’ll find the same issues: inter-generational poverty, substance abuse, high unemployment, broken communities and overstretched (sometimes absent) police resources.

The ‘lawless north’ townships of Kaikohe and Kaitaia are simply the worst of a bad bunch.

Last year a 12 year old boy pulled a gun on a dairy owner in Kaitaia. Which is more alarming – that a 12 year old has access to a gun, or that he’d prepared to use it to rob a corner store? In the western sector of the town there were 49 assaults and robberies – more than 2.5 times the national average. But wait, there’s worse. The smaller ‘burb of Kaitaia east had 39 – more than 3.5 times the national average..

Community in crisis
I don’t know the percentages but I do know this community is in crisis,” says Ricky Houghton, chief executive of the He Korowai Trust.

With a population of about 5000, Kaitaia punches above its weight when it comes to public place violence. source

A Newshub.co.nz investigation has uncovered the unpleasant truth that Kaikohe and Kaitaia have some of the highest rates of assaults, sex attacks and robberies among the minor urban centres. New Zealand’s crime epidemic isn’t just confined to its larger towns and cities, it’s endemic

The “our people problem”. Evidence that NZ’s bi-cultural experiment has failed Maori ?

“I honestly think if there were more opportunities for our people up here then there wouldn’t be such a huge crime rate,” says resident Puriwi Harawira. For the past 15 years Mr Houghton has run the He Korowai Trust, an organisation helping those in desperate need. He believes a lack of jobs and high welfare dependency drive crime.

“Eighty-five percent are on some form of benefit [and] 37 percent are single parents,” he says.”And the average income is $21,000 a year.”

welcome to Kaikohe

“Welcome to Kaikohe, hub of the north” (Google Streetview)

An hour’s drive away is the township of Kaikohe, its violent crime figures are worse. “It is the top regional town for public violence”. Last year, 68 assaults, sexual attacks and robberies were reported in one part of town – over three times the national average. source.

Random street attacker was “having a bad day”

Meanwhile, in Christchurch it has allegedly taken police two weeks to follow-up on a random street attack on a young man that was recorded on a security camera at Ms Woods home. You can watch the shocking video of the violent attack here. Amazingly the attacker got let off with an official warning.

The 28-year-old was arriving home from work on April 20 when a man, also believed to live in the Templeton area west of Christchurch, attacked him on the street…
“All he did was just park up and was walking straight to the front door,” Ms Woods says, “Next minute a man came out of nowhere and started attacking him for no reason at all.”…
We went into [Christchurch Central Police Station] that day, we had actually handed the footage on a USB stick into them which they requested and… nothing’s happened and this guy’s still running around.”

“He just lashed straight into him with no reason at all.” Ms Woods says the man should have been arrested. “We’ve had nothing, absolutely nothing… and I’ve got to live in this area.”

Dunedin’s mean streets

Streets around the Octagon in Dunedin are up there with the most violent crime hotspots in New Zealand. Making it into Statistics NZ’s violent crime of towns with more than 30,000 people is there area around the Octagon, which accounted for 261 violent assaults, sex assaults or robberies last year. Among the violent crime in the area was the sex attack of a woman in Frederick Street, the assault of two police officers, a sexual assault near the Octagon, a policewoman punched in the face, and last week a man stabbed in the neck.

Hospitality New Zealand Otago branch president Mark Scully said he was shocked by the statistics but the area represented all of Dunedin as that was where everybody congregated to socialise. “I’m surprised and horrified by those numbers,” Mr Scully said.

Not as shocked and surprised as the victims are Mr Scully

St John Coastal Otago area manager Doug Third said his staff dealt with assaults “a lot” around the city and the figures did not surprise him. Staff workload in the Octagon area, especially on weekends, was “quite high” and was mostly alcohol-related, he said.

The most victim reports for assaults, sexual assaults and robberies was Auckland central west 550. Nationally, 24,035 public place assaults, sexual assaults and robberies were recorded by police in 2015.

Huge criminal underclass, rapes harms and kills with almost impunity

And those were only the ones that got reported in Dunedin, we know many more never make it onto the record books or are ‘incorrectly categorized’. Read one police officer’s first hand account of what really goes on behind the statstics  – British Cop in Northland: NZ’s “Crime Statistics a Work of Fiction”. Here’s an excerpt:

The level of incompetence is unbelievable and any suggestion to try something new (to them) is treated with scorn. I’ve never seen the levels of repetitive drink driving and family violence I’ve seen in NZ and I spent 10 years in UK Policing. As for the crime statistics their a work of fiction worthy of a Booker prize! There is a huge criminal underclass in this country and everyone knows who they are but aren’t prepare to do anything meaningful about them due to ‘political correctness’, meanwhile they rape, rob, harm and kill with almost impunity.

Auckland, Wellington and Central Hamilton

More than 24,000 reports of crimes in public areas have been analysed to find New Zealand’s most crime-ridden spots

New data from Statistics New Zealand shows an average of three people are assaulted, sexually assaulted or robbed per day in public areas of Auckland’s CBD. The western area of central Auckland had the highest number of public assaults, robberies and sexual assaults in the country, with 550 last year.

These were followed by central Wellington between Willis Street and Cambridge Terrace, with central Hamilton in third. The waterfront and eastern part of Auckland’s CBD also fell into the top ten highest crime areas….Just last month Waitemata and Gulf ward councillor Mike Lee said the city was unsafe after a number of violent attacks on international students in the area.

Read more about what Mike Lee said here:It’s Official – Auckland is Unsafe: Street Gangs Need to Be Cleaned Up Once and For All. Chinese Consulate Demands Solution.

Stay street smart, stay safe in Auckland

An Auckland CBD resident for 32 years, Tim Coffey, said safety was something people had to be aware of in the area. “I think in Auckland you have to be very street smart if you’re going to walk around. “Fortunately I’m quite tall, I’m about 1.94 metres, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve been assaulted or chased – but I have been. “We have two negative forces in the CBD. One is alcohol and its availability and that’s where you get all the brawls that you’ve seen on TV. “They’re not street people but people going out to party. And then you’ve got then issues of homelessness and depravation.”Mr Coffey said it was part of a growing gap between the rich and poor…

“It’s got nothing to do with absense (sic) of police, it’s got everything to do with social disintigration (sic).”  source Radio NZ

However, it should be noted that the police budget has been frozen for five years,  until last year when it was reduced by 1 per cent, from $1.624bn to $1.609bn. According to a briefing to the new minister Judith Collins in December 2015, police have absorbed $300 million in cost in the past four years. source

Whangarei rape victim still in hospital

Meanwhile in another ‘Lawless North’ town – Whangarei – a female jogger who was abducted, raped and seriously injured at 6:30 am last Friday is still recovering from her injuries in hospital.

The woman in her early 20s was dragged off the track last Friday about 6.30am and driven to a house where she was sexually assaulted. She was left badly injured in central Whangarei, where a member of the public found her and alerted emergency services. Whangarei Hospital staff confirmed the woman was in a stable condition.

Her attack wasn’t as isolated, or as ‘rare’ as media reports would have you believe.

We all remember the manner of Joanne Pert’s death in the exclusive Auckland suburb of Remuera.

We know about the woman that was bound and raped in Dunedin.

We shook our heads in disbelief when Blessie Gotingco was mown down, raped and murdered as she walked home from work in the North Shore one evening.

We wondered at the sanity of the youth who attacked, raped and murdered Auckland grandmother Cun Xui Tian in her Te Atatu home.

We were horrified when a five year old Belgian girl was raped and mutilated on a Turangi campsite by a youth out of his mind on drugs.

We held our breath after another five year old was abducted from a street and indecently assulted on her way to school in Palmerston North one morning.

We support the West Auckland community of Onehunga as it lives in fear and tries to ‘reclaim the day’ after a serial sex offender (in his early teens) continues to evade hapless police.

We wonder why police in the small hamlet of Kaikoura have yet to arrest the man who raped a woman as she walked home late one afternoon.

But no degree of public outrage, or media downplay, can prevent these crimes. They are continuing with impunity.

There is a change for the worse in New Zealand and it appears no-one is capable of dealing with a problem that has its roots in grinding poverty, mental illness and substance abuse.

Post script: The night after this article was written a 37 year old woman was murdered in her home in Strathmore Park, Wellington. Witnesses say they heard gun shots.

You may also be interested in

Auckland businesses call for safer central business district (city centre)

Kaikohe community take a stand against sexual violence and abuse

Outspoken Ex-Mayor Says “Many Small Towns in New Zealand are Failed Communities”

Girl Attacked by Gang. Child Porn and an 80 Year Old Burgled for the 6th time. Welcome to Putaruru, Waikato

New Zealand Brutal Place for Women and Tourists. Amy Farrall, Niki Honda, Michaela Brandl et al…

‘Nelson Snippets’ Reveals Extent of Crime, Life in Small Town New Zealand

Two More Women Attacked in Dunedin, Violence Against Women Reaching Crisis Point in NZ

NZ’s rape culture evident in Assaults in Christchurch and Kaikoura

Shots Fired At Auckland Police, Rapes and Murders. Is Crime out of Control in NZ?

Elderly Woman Kicked, Stomped On in Auckland. #Realmiddleearth is not #brillianteveryday

Armed Standoff in Gloria Rd, Te Atatu, Auckland. Woman’s Body found in House – Botched Burglary

Dunedin Harbouring a Culture of Rape: Female Jogger Raped and Hog Tied – updates

Female MPs Stand Up to Sexual Violence – Silenced and Ejected from NZ’s Parliament. Sexual Violence “Rampant in NZ Society”

Parmita Rani, Stabbed to Death at an International College in Queen Street, Auckland

Violent New Zealand – Three People Injured in Park Shoot-Out

West Auckland Youth Arrested for Rape, Murder of Cun Xui Tian

Palmerston North – Still Not a Safe City, Especially for Women

Police Go Into Information Lockdown After Women Murdered in Auckland – updated

Public Told They Have No Interest in 45 Year Old Kiwi Entertainer’s Sex Charges

Man Charged with Murder After Female Jogger Found Dead in Upmarket Suburb of Remuera, Auckland


12 thoughts on “Kaikohe, Kaitaia. New Zealand Communities in Crisis

  1. I live on the outskirts of Kaikohe and I wholeheartedly agree with the stats on this town. You only have to walk around the village and you will encounter derilicts loitering around, harrassing walkers by (or in my case tapping on my car window, trying to have a wee chat to my children), bottle in hand and all. Every now and then you get a roudy aggressive Maori swearing at some shop assistant at the top of their lungs, in front of their own children too. There are young locals smashing and grabbing from shops. A local coffee shop had to close down because it had been robbed so many times. There are a few pleasant supermarket staff but the majority have no manners, do not even care to greet you and some are just plain rude! There is definitely an undertone of resentment and bitterness toward pakeha, especially if you have a few dollars. A lot of unhappy, unemployed, people with little hope. On a positive note, there are a few good Christian churches like the SDA’s and Celebration Centre trying to make a difference and better the Kaikohe community. God knows these people need some hope around here. The youth show no respect for the elders, they tear down the roads on their skateboards, with no regard for pedestrians and swear lously and profusely. I honestly feel that many of these kids are ‘dragged up’. We aren’t staying around here for much longer, especially with the way the economy is going, when the stink hits the fan, things are only going to get worse ‘with every man for himself’ mentality. I’m off to the South Island (where I was born), far safer, lower unemployment, less crime, less population. Tick, tick, tick and tick!

  2. I was a survivor of 9 years of violence and a victim of a family who stole my son at birth and the mother used and abused the system of being a cyfs caregiver, to where my nitemare began. She is a regular dope smoker violent, controller manipulator she got away with anything to this day my son is 10 hasn’t been in my care since 2 years of age and been influenced that I am going to kill him. She and her partner have lost all kids in thea care and deny violence was nt them. I went threw hell fighting cyfs glad to hear years of fighting nearly to a end.

  3. Each time I see these new posts it leaves me gutted – gutted that people aren’t listening and these horrible things commonly happen here in New Zealand with everyone denying the facts! It seems that everyone has drunk the Kool-Aid and continues to do so, no matter what the warning! Just how much more dangerous does NZ have to get before people admit there is a massive problem here and NZ is not the nicest place to be!

  4. Thanks for sharing this. Someone needs to refute the canard that New Zealand is a great place to raise kids. Lax sentencing and a culture that shows more solicitude for perpetrators of crime than for its victims are to blame.

  5. According to the New Zealand tourism propaganda, only the United States of America has violent crime, right? These are some truly depressing stories, folks.

    • Dear Lord. Like the kids in New Zealand watch old movies like “Colors” or “The Warriors” and then get bad ideas? I am going to blame New Zealand for my magical Hobbit wizard powers not working, then. Regards.

    • I’ve heard the saying “before New Zealand was colonised, the Maori had no crime”.
      The quick reply (but when you are out of bashing distance) is: “for crime to exist, there has to be a code of laws … guess who brought that with them?”.

    • New Zealanders prefer to discuss problems in far off places that most have never visited rather than confront the issues staring us in the face at home.It wasn’t long ago Kiwis would call all Americans fat and loud ,many have now realised that we rank 3rd in world obesity stats and this conversation has gone silent.
      It frustrates me to hear radio hosts develop a tone of ecstatic enthusiasm when they get to interview a foreigner about some issue in their home country especially the U.S .Many Kiwis hate Americans due to jealously and the fact that during WW2 American servicemen stationed here and here on leave had sexual encounters with the local women .American servicemen had better grooming ,personal hygiene , cooler uniforms,better dance skills and overall far superior game to their kiwi counterparts so I’m sure they had some fun .
      Having lived most of my adult life in the U.S I would say ,no need for contemplation ,it’s far safer for the average person to live in the U.S than N.Z.There are known areas to avoid and times of the day when an otherwise safe area becomes unsafe however this is true in most countries including N.Z.Whats different here is the randomness and futile yet savage nature of the crimes .Its possible that many tourist attacks are due to the Rugby mentality,foreign tourists viewed as the visiting team versus the home team .Many of the sexual crimes are just the direct result of our dysfunctional society,seems the locals main decision making process here is whether to beat someone to death or rape them.

      • You know what is sad? My father served in World War Two, and was stationed in Australia, for a short while. He talked of Aussie and Kiwi soldiers. That feeling of unity between The USA, and New Zealand, has vanished, it seems. I hate that. Maybe it takes a world war for people to pull together. Regards.

          • I hope that things change. The world is not exactly getting more stable, and it would be great if New Zealand would pull out of the torpor that it is in. I wish you all well, even the misguided United States of America “haters”. If people would just take that useless anti- American sentiment, and use it to create New Zealand- based fast food businesses, clothing stores, and “take- aways”, New Zealand would be a bee hive of activity. I might be “smoking crack” to think that, I realize. Regards.

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