Saturday, January 30, 2010

Napier Erupts In Violent Crime

What is going on in Hawkes Bay? there's been an explosion of violent crime in the Napier and Hastings area in the past last few days, is gang violence making a resurgence in the towns and why are throngs of young teenagers roaming around looking for trouble, have they nothing better to do?

A 22 year old male was beaten and robbed in broad daylight in Napier yesterday. His injuries were so severe he was placed in an induced coma overnight until he regained consciousness this morning. He was savagely attacked in Kennedy Park at around 4pm by young thugs who took his backpack (was this man connected to the nearby William Colenso College or was he a tourist?) containing CDs, and iPod and mobile phone. Police would like to talk to a group of youths aged 14-20.

The same day there were two more attacks. One was on Massey Crescent where a 20 year old male was robbed and there was a possible stabbing around 3am on Roberts Terrace.

The day before a group of teens rampaged through Hasting's central business area smashing windows at 4 in the morning. 11 businesses were targeted and the damage is thought to have run in to thousands of dollars. Police arrested four youths, including two 15 year old girls,  a boy of 15 and another age 14.

A reporter from Hawkes Bay Today spoke to some of the businesses involved:
"Spokeswoman Kay Howes said it was not the first time the property had been struck by vandals.
"I think I've almost become immune to it," Ms Howes said. "It's just a continual hassle. You just wonder where mum and dad were. For me, it's just sad." Queen St East business Transfield Worley was also struck.  A company spokeswoman said the vandalism was ridiculous. "They've obviously got nothing to do."
We agree, when there's 'nothing to do' in towns like these kids are going to gravitate toward gangs in all their manifestations. Parents should be forced to take a share of the responsibility for this and made to pay for the damage. Why are they letting their kids roam the streets in the early hours of the morning?

But it's not just the young kids that are causing mayhem in Hastings.  Barney Huriwaka, age 79, was woken at 3am on Sunday by the sound of every window in his Flaxmere home being smashed. Police eventually caught a 20 year old man in connection with the crime. This was the second time Mr Huriwaka had had his windows broken, he'd been away on holiday the last time it happened.

Epidemic of unreported crime
A little further down the coast is the small community of Waimarama where the residents are suffering from an "epidemic of unreported crime" (a lot of crime goes unreported in NZ) which was only uncovered when police investigated an arson attack:
"Investigations into an arson attack at Waimarama just before Christmas have uncovered an epidemic of unreported crime in the seaside settlement. Burglaries, vandalism, assaults and traffic offences are going unreported in the beach community. But if locals came forward it could help them solve the mystery of who burnt down the former Catholic church, Hastings police Detective Martin James said."

See also
Parents leave kids to manage on their own. Kids dumped in a Hastings McDonalds restaurant.  Aggressive parents are refusing to keep an eye on their children, putting pressure on lifeguards at the Hastings Aquatic Centre and Flaxmere Waterworld,.

Today's posts - click here

Friday, January 29, 2010

Philippines Warns Citizens About NZ Work-To-Residence Scheme

At last, some countries are wising-up about the dangers of the New Zealand 'work to residence system' and warning their citizens about the risks they may be taking by migrating, and then either being unable to find jobs, or having jobs effectively taken away from them and given to New Zealanders (see other posts tagged 'Jobs for Kiwi's)

According to an article by the immigration affairs reporter, Lincoln Tan, in the NZ Herald:
"Philippines consul-general Emilie Shi says Immigration New Zealand is not doing enough to warn would-be applicants about the difficulties of finding a job or telling them that Kiwis will be given preference by employers.
"Immigration New Zealand continues to say what a great place this country is to come live and work in, but they cover up the fact that it is very difficult to find a job here, or that they will be treated as second-class workers under the scheme," Ms Shi said.

"The work-to-residence is a myopic policy, because even if these migrants prove their worth in their jobs, employers cannot renew their contracts when their work permits expire, and have to first offer their jobs to Kiwis."

She said this made those who came on the work-to-residence scheme less attractive to local employers because they would not have "smooth continuity" in their business operations if they employed these migrant workers.....The embassy will be recommending to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to not allow any more of our citizens to come to New Zealand if they are not qualified, and we will be putting an advisory warning on the website."
This move is bound to cause significant embarrassment to the New Zealand government and may harm the country's carefully cultivated image as being a place that welcomes, values and cares for its overseas workers. We expect to see a counter-spin offensive launched soon.

We think that migrants that are attracted to work in NZ under schemes like this, and who are rendered penniless in the process because they can't find work, should be refunded the full costs of their visa applications and given expenses so that they can return home. If the work isn't there for them why are they still being encouraged to come? someone is making a lot of money from people whose lives are being ruined in the process.

Good on the Consul-General for blowing the whistle on this, perhaps more countries should think of doing the same?

A Kaitaia rest home is battling with immigration officials to keep an irreplacable Filipino woman with "skills as rare as hens teeth" after immigration refused to renew her work permit.The rest home manager is being forced to employ a Kiwi to do the work.

Migrants are important to the NZ economy. The migrant population of 927,000 people had a positive net fiscal impact of $3,288 million in the year to 30 June 2006. The net fiscal impact per head was $2,680 for recent migrants, $3,470 for intermediate migrants and $4,280 for earlier migrants. The net fiscal impact for the New Zealand-born population was $915 per head.

'Migrants treated like waste products' - "New Zealand is treating migrants like waste products using them and then throwing them away" says Wigram MP Jim Anderton.

Paradise turns sour for British migrants - "Jobless foreigners now risk losing their work visas and having to return to Britain."

Migrant Tales - A collection of migrants' first hand accounts of their experiences of living and working in New Zealand.

Today's posts - click here

Migrant Stories - My Work Experience So Far In New Zealand

This is a post taken from, it was written by a poster from Nelson, South Island. It is a first hand account from someone who is finding working in NZ a real challenge and is having problems with third world work ethics. The poster says that Kiwis do not like expats taking their jobs and there is preference for giving jobs to locals, despite them being less qualified than foreigners. Please take time to read some of the responses this post attracted from other people on the forum:

"I am finding working in NZ very tough and unfair. It has been a surprise as all the Kiwis I met abroad were 'good as gold'. I guess the dregs have been left behind. Then there are the rich foreigners who start business here and run it - unethically. It is like a cross between a third world country in work ethics and a first world one in work appearance.

Firstly I have found the Kiwis here dont seem to like foreigners taking well paid jobs.

I have found that the Kiwis get precedence even if they are not qualified and menial jobs are being left for foreigners who are qualified. It is ludicrous.

Then if you are lucky enough to get past all this and land a well-paid job that suits your qualifications, it wont last long - probably six months - before you are nudged out (life is made very difficult for you - bullying etc - until you resign) and a Kiwi takes your place!

I have seen unbelievable things happen such as rich foreigners running businesses here and employing poor foreigners at ten dollars an hour! If you dont like it, they get rid of you sharpish.

Then there is the instance where you are working for a firm and the manager is paying himself 46 dollars an hour which rises to 68 dollars an hour in 3 weeks and then he is difficult to track down as he is somewhere else and charging long hours at these rates. The owner of course knows nothing of this. People are being made redundant due to 'there not being enough funds' because the manager is using those funds to pay himself a fortune to do nothing.

Altogether and finally it makes one want to return whence one came which I am sure is their intention in the first instance."
 Other posters on the forum give their response:

I don't work out in the NZ world, but I have American friends who do and they seem to have the same bullying problems. I love the landscape here and the Kiwis that I have gotten to know personally, but as a whole I find the place a bit stand-offish--not overly friendly or open even after 3 years.  I would think that the bigger cites would be much more tolerant."
 "Dead in New Zealand
I have been here since 2007 August and after six years of being told "how welcome I would be, how desperately my skills were needed here, and that there was so much work to do I would be employed forever"....I moved myself and my cat here.

The abuse started the moment I got off the plane, and now 2.5 years later, I have been financially destroyed (I have not had a job here in 12 months), emotionally destroyed (I even had to find homes for my cats as I could no longer take care of them), I have not had a date with a woman since I got here (women here hate foreigners),  and almost everything that I brought with me I have been forced to throw away, give away, or sell for nothing.

Last time I checked there were almost 100 jobs with the government that they could not fill because they could find no Kiwis who were qualified, and yet I could not have any of these jobs because "I am too over qualified" / "I am a foreigner" - we would NEVER hire a foreigner / "I am an American" - we would NEVER hire an American - this from the Electrical Commission, a New Zealand Ministry.
There is a HUGE underground of under-employed or unemployed highly skilled migrants who's only dream now is of escaping New Zealand.  They are "frozen" out of their professions in New Zealand because they have committed the unforgivable sin of "knowing how to do their job!"

I never knew racism, bigotry, or prejustice until I came to New Zealand, which was 20 years behind the rest of the entire world in 2007.  Now, barely three years later New Zealand is 30 years behind the rest of the entire world - a Third World country very quickly heading backwards into the Stone Age.
I have finally admitted defeat - all my life I was "Mr. Positive".  I was the guy who could get the job done, and do it with a smile on my face, keeping everyone laughing, while doing a brilliant job - always under budget and ahead of schedule. 

I don't smile or laugh much anymore.
I used to pride myself on the fact that I could get along with anybody. But Kiwis have stopped me cold. They seem to be entirely different from any other culture I have ever encountered.  "Fantasy" is their way of life (the rest of us would calling it "lying").

I am only one of 400 people in the entire world with the levels of experience, expertise, qualifications, knowledge (etc., etc., blah, blah, blah) in IT, Corporate Governance, Service Management - I was told how invaluable I would be in New Zealand.  And because of my knowledge and years of real life experience - I have been treated like filth every single day since arriving in New Zealand.
Lying is so embedded into the New Zealand life style that every Kiwi that I spoke to for the six years PRIOR to moving to New Zealand told me THE SAME LIES!!!  That is truly astonishing, and why it took me 18 months after arriving in New Zealand to finally realize that "no, its NOT me - I am NOT doing anything wrong!"

I have gone back to rebuilding my international consulting business, and 2010 should be okay for me.  But staying in New Zealand?  Unless I can find income from overseas, and then go somewhere and find REAL WOMEN, and then back to New Zealand...I would really have to think hard about that. 
New Zealand is a good place to be when the next war starts, and god knows the Kiwis will not bother me (the good thing about Kiwis is that they want NOTHING to do with foreigners – or each other, for the matter) but its not the only place.
Good luck to you - I hope things get better for both of us.
Dead In New Zealand"
For more  Migrant Tales please click here
Today's posts - click here

Carjackings, Grand Theft Auto?

Carjackings in NZ aren't unusual by any means* (they've been called NZ's "new home invasion") but their frequency seems to be increasing at an alarming rate. Is it a protracted craze arising from playing a certain type of video game and if so should games like that be banned, or is this just an unwillingness to call a cab when there's no lift home? The problem is that it's getting to the point where the average citizen really does has to drive round with their doors locked and keep the engine revving at traffic lights

Yesterday an unfortunate female motorist's car was stolen at knife point in Mangatawhiri and driven 40kms north towards Auckland until forced to stop by police who were in hot pursuit (link)

On Wednesday two women were sitting in their car at the McDonalds in Bader Drive, Mangere at 2.30am when a man threatened them with a gun, forced them from the car and drove off (link)

On Saturday there were two separate incidents in the coastal community of the Hibiscus Coast. One at the Peninsula Golf Club when local resident Peter Braithwaite was forced to hand over his keys at knife point whilst unloading his clubs for an early morning round of golf. Police later caught the thieves who were said to be "from Northland". Minutes earlier another man was threatened with a man wielding a crow bar outside the McDonalds in Orewa. (link)

What can you do to avoid becoming a helpless victim of carjacking in NZ? take a look at this advice from the US Department of State. It offers tips on avoidance, and what to do if you become a victim and what to do after the attack. Link

* See also:
Carjacking - the new home invasion: " Carjacking cases are on the increase in New Zealand and police have issued an extraordinary warning telling drivers to lock car doors, keep windows up, keep bags and valuables out of sight and to be extra vigilant while idle at traffic lights.
Four carjackings in Auckland since July
Man tasered after Auckland car-jacking
Roadside samaritan has her car stolen at knifepoint
Elderly woman bashed in carjacking 
One arrest after knifepoint carjacking
Police reports brutal carjacking in New Lyn
Masterton carjacking
Public urged to delete carjacking email
"I witnessed a carjacking!" GP Forum

Today's posts - click here

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Canadian Tourist, Matt Brazeau, Injured In Another Stingray Backlash

A Canadian tourist, Matt  Brazeau, has had his thigh pierced clean through by a Stingray whilst standing in surf after he'd falling out of his canoe near Waitara, near New Plymouth, sometime this week. He told the Taranaki Daily News
"I was reaching for the kayak and felt this unbelievable pain through my leg. It was as though something had bit me but with electrical impulses. It was really fast, in and out within a second. There was no movement, no action in the water except for me jumping back into the kayak. It had to be a stingray." 
Mr  Brazeau is now recovering in hospital with 40 stitches in his thigh. The barb missed a major artery by a few millimetres. He was incredibly lucky, we all remember the death of Steve Irwin under similar circumstances and we'd like to wish him a speedy and full recovery.

Stingray injuries are not uncommon in NZ
In February 2009 Moteuka resident, Michael French, was lucky to be alive after he was airlifted to hospital after a Stingray inflicted a severe laceration to his side. His injuries were so bad that it was thought he'd been attacked by a shark and the beaches were closed whilst a search was conducted.

His injury was the fourth in two months and it was predicted that there were more attacks to come because of an increase in rays in NZ's waters.

The other incidents included
  • February 2009 a South African tourist was stabbed in the arm by a stingray whilst fishing at Hot Water Beach, Coromandel
  • A month earlier a 11 year old girl from Woodville was airlifted to hospital from the Riversdale Beach, Wairarapa suffering from serious lacerations to one arm and one knee. 
  • That was just a matter of days after a previous Stingray encounter in Pohara Beach, Golden Bay when a woman was airlifted to Nelson hosptial was a barb embedded in her leg.

  Above: A Stingray barb embedded in the leg of a diver swimming in NZ waters Oct/Nov 2006. (source)

New Zealand's only Stingray fatality is thought to be an 18 year old girl who died from injuries to her chest and thigh whilst bathing in theHauraki Gulf, ten miles from Thames in 1939.

The Sting Ray barb has been described as "as deadly as a bayonet". New Zealand has 26 species of rays and skates including Electric and Longtail Stingrays and they're very often seen in shallower waters around the coast. One species of electric ray, the New Zealand Torpedo is endemic to the country.

The Longtail Stingray can grow to to 4 metres,including the tail which is twice the length of its disc-shaped body. They can be found shallow water and down to about 400 metres.

Longtail stingrays are feared because of the serrated, poisonous spines at the base of their tails, which they thrust into anything that tries to catch them. If a person accidentally stands on them they will be injured, but these stingrays do not seek out victims. Growing to a maximum of 214 kilograms, they feed on crabs, mantis shrimps, molluscs, worms and conger eels. (source Teara)

Today's posts - click here

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Emily Jordan Inquest May Be Held In The UK

British tourist Emily Jordan died whilst river boarding on the  Kawarau River on 29 April 2008.

In August 2009  Mad Dog River Boarding was prosecuted for health and safety breaches in relation to her death and fined. At the time of the trial her father Chris Jordan asked for an inquest to be held.

Shortly afterward Mr Jordan wrote to New Zealand's Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism John Key asking for regulation of the NZ Adventure Tourism Industry. In response the the government announced a 'review' of the industry, unfortunately that review is already behind schedule.

In an interview with Scene, "The free voice of Queenstown"  Chris Jordan has said he will push for an inquest into his daughter's death to be held in the UK if one isn't held in NZ. He said that he was disappointed to still be waiting to hear if one will be held.
“I don’t believe that I sitting in the UK should be insisting on an inquest in New Zealand – it should happen as a matter of priority...It’s just bizarre to me.”
Scene goes on to add:
"Otago-Southland regional coroner David Crerar told Mountain Scene last week that he won’t decide whether he’ll conduct an inquest into the Jordan death till after a Government investigation into adventure tourism led by Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson.

Jordan: “I believe that David Crerar is getting the two issues mixed up – there’s a ministerial inquiry which is investigating extreme sports ... I don’t understand why [he] has to wait till the end of the ministerial inquiry because that’s got nothing to do with Emily’s individual case.”

As coroner, Crerar has the power to make potentially law-changing recommendations through an inquest.  “I’m hoping that David Crerar will make recommendations with regard to improved safety of riverboarding,” Jordan says.

Part of Emily’s legacy must be to create better knowledge of how to avoid these deaths in the future. If no fundamental change takes place, it will happen again."
He is absolutely right, the review has got nothing to do with the details of Emily's death, if there are lessons to be learned about why she died what better way to do so than by holding an inquest?  It's appalling that almost 2 years after her death nothing has changed.

The Queenstown coroner, David Crerar, admitted to Scene that there were
“a number of ancillary matters relating to the death of Emily Jordan that could be the subject of closer scrutiny”
But said he was waiting to see if they were addressed in the report which is due to be released to the   Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson for her consideration by May 31,  just two weeks after Emily's birthday. What a fitting tribute to Emily if actual regulations, stringent safety standards and a licensing scheme are introduced as a result.

According to a BBC news report an inquest into Emily's death was opened in the UK on 9 May 2008, shortly after she died, however it was was adjourned.

The West Bromwich coroner, Robin Balmain, said he would wait until a full inquiry into her death was conducted and he hoped the full inquest could be held in New Zealand.

The West Bromwich Advertiser shed more light on Mr Balmain's decision in an article published on 9 May 2008:
"He added he had been advised by the authorities in New Zealand that the medical cause of death of the 21-year-old, of Valley House, Trimpley, was asphyxiation, due to drowning.

He explained: "She was on a trip with her boyfriend. They were river boarding and, in the course of that, she got into difficulties and drowned.

"This is a very distressing case. The circumstances are quite tragic. I understand she had recently completed a law degree and it is very sad her life should be ended in this way."

He said there would be a full inquiry in New Zealand and law in England required him to resume the hearing in "due course".

He added: "When the Government published the draft Coroner's Bill in June, 2006 they promised they would explore the possibility of coroners not holding inquests in this country in certain circumstances.
"If there is a full inquiry in New Zealand this could be such a case. I hope the Government will give due consideration to that possibility."
Two years on and there has still not been a full inquiry, nor has there been an inquest in NZ. The circumstances of Emily's death, and the lack of regulation governing river boarding in NZ, risk being being rolled-up into the general investigation into adventure sports and getting conveniently 'lost' within it, never to be heard of again.

Today's posts - click here

Temuka Bank Robbery - Updated

It was only yesterday that we were saying that there has been a worrying trend in armed robberies in New Zealand over the last year, with many places frequented by the public being targeted. Those comments followed yesterday's armed hold-up of a tavern in Onehunga.

Today we learn that a bank in the township of Temuka (population of around 4000) has been robbed and police are presently engaged in a full scale land and air hunt for at least one escaped robber. Today's robbery is the 9th this month, and that's just in commercial premises. Is armed crime getting out of control in New Zealand and is it time to curb firearm ownership?

230,000 licensed owners, 1.1 million firearms
According to Wikipedia, NZ has an estimated 230,000 licensed firearms owners using approximately 1.1 million firearms, enough for 1 in 4 of the population. There are no figures for the number of weapons illegally owned by unlicensed individuals.

NZ has 11 times as many guns per capita as Britain and 60% more than Australia where police are armed.

See also:
NZ Herald feature article: "Armed bank robberies on the rise" June 2009
For details of other recent armed robberies see "Armed Robberies"

Two men were eventually arrested after a two car crash in Ashburton. We understand that the bank involved may have been a branch of the ANZ.

View Larger Map, route between Temuka and Ashburton
Today's posts - click here

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trident Tavern Hold-Up, Another Armed Robbery In New Zealand

We were shocked to learn that there has been another armed robbery in a business premises.

The Trident Tavern in Onehunga  was held up at gun point at around 10am this morning. Fortunately, according to a Herald report, the police caught may have already caught the offenders because they are questioning two people in connection with the attack..

There has been a worrying trend in armed robberies taking place in premises frequented by the public over the last year, these have included numerous dairies. Taverns, clubs, banks, a brothel and even a hairdressing salon have also been targeted. We think that this is the 8th such robbery this month. For details of other incidents click on the link "Armed Robberies".

Today's posts - click here

Monday, January 25, 2010

2 More German Tourists, Anke Kuballa and Marc Busch, Robbed In Northland

Unfortunately crimes against tourists in Northland don't seem to be abating despite the widespread publicity that some recent incidents have attracted.

Anke Kuballa, 20, and Marc Busch, 22, bought a touring van for $1,600 in Auckland and were driving  it north to Whangarei a month later when the clutch failed. They paid $600 to a local Whangarei mechanic to have it fixed. Shortly afterward they were doing some shopping in the town and when they returned to where they'd left the vehicle found that it had been stolen, along with $13,000 worth of belongings  including passports, three cameras, two iPods, four backpacks and camping gear.

According to an article in the Northern Advocate the couple said they thought it would be a good idea if tourists were warned about thieves as soon as they arrived in NZ. We agree with them.

We've also said that we think that tourists should have access to free, safety deposit boxes or lockers in some tourist towns. It would give them somewhere safe to leave valuable equipment, cash and passports and also make them less of a target for muggers and thieves.

See also our other posts about:
Numerous incidents involving German tourists

 Today's posts - click here


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