Friday, February 26, 2010

Japanese Students Attacked At Christchurch Bus Stop - Updated

There's a report in today's The Press, detailed on telling the shocking story of how two Asian students were subjected to aggression and an unprovoked attack by a gang of skinheads in Christchurch (watch the video report here)

Two Asian students, said to be Japanese nationals, were sitting at the bus stop outside of The Palms shopping mall in Christchurch yesterday evening at 6.30pm when a group of 4 skinheads approached them. A witness saw the group of 4 males, all shirtless and wearing camouflage gear, walk up to the 2 students.

According to the witness the group, which had two pit bull dogs with them, started to hassle the students until one of them got up to leave whereupon he was punched in the face causing him to stumble on to the road. He was then punched again and the group calmly strolled away.

The witness to this moronic and cowardly attack on two defenseless kids tried to phone the emergency services but couldn't get through because of problems with the network, he then had to ask a bus driver to phone his office and ask them to call for help. Meanwhile the gang of thugs disappeared.

It would seem that Christchurch isn't a great place to be, for either visitors or locals. In August of last year a Fijian student was injured in a racist attack at Linwood College, his mother said that she had spoken the other parents in the Indian community and their children had been bullied too. Her son had also been taunted with names like "curry chicken", "black Indian" and "Indian boy." The family moved to NZ to escape the violence of Suva.

In September a man having part Indian and his friend were attacked a gang of jobs. This from Stuff
"Christchurch computer programmer Mike Nicholls, 24, said he was racially abused and punched in September last year by a group of men who had attacked a friend.

Nicholls, who is part Indian, said cans were thrown at his car and he was called "nigger" and told to "go home" after he intervened when a friend was attacked in a restaurant carpark on Moorhouse Ave. Police are investigating the incident."

Christchurch has recently earned itself the dubious title of 'Murder Capital Of New Zealand' which was re-inforced after the death of a 62 year old widow was brutally murdered in her own home a week ago.

This most recent assault has drawn a fair amount of contempt from the readers of Stuff who are very eager to talk about the issue of racism in Christchurch, allegedly a "haven for Neo-Nazis due to the lack of competition from other gangs" (see below) You may remember that a few days ago we spoke of how police in New Zealand still don't/won't collect data on racially motivated crimes, it is very hard to know the true extent of this problem both in Christchurch and throughout the country.

These are a few of the reader comments about on Stuff about racism in Christchurch:
"I am appalled by the lack of "retaliatory action" by the Asian community against the Neo-Nazis so far. But I guess the bulk of the Asian community knows that these can't be helped living in Christchurch, like they say, "You can't complain about the noise if you move in near the airport." This Japanese student finally understood the toll for enjoying the significantly cheaper living costs of Christchurch compared to Auckland. He should also understans why disproportionalely greater Japanese New Zealand residents reside in Auckland than Christchurch in contrast to other Asians."

"I am most disappointed that the police and other authority repeatedly deny there is rascism in the city. As long as they refuse to admit there is a problem, there will be little effort to address and tackle the situation. re they waiting for a more serious attack? Unprovoked assaults that leaves someone bleeding and broken is not serious enough? What if THEY are at the receiving end? Will that and only that spur them into action? We have a racism problem, FACE IT! DEAL WITH IT! That is JUSTICE and the PEOPLE'S RIGHTS!"

I am a frequent poster on, I have become aware from my New Zeland sources that this Asian student is Japanese and I am ashamed that a Yamato must become victimised by Neo-Nazis who are not the finest specimens on Western Europeans, let alone the Anglo-Celtic race! The police insist it was not a racially motivated attack despite eye witness reports to the contrary.
My source tells me that Christchurch is a haven for Neo-Nazis because of the lack of presence of competing mutliracial gangs like those active in the North Island. Then it would seem the South Islanders are cowards for not actively confronting these Neo-Nazis in both lawful and unlawful fronts.
Although it would be a tall order for New Zealand to implement solid anti-hate/Nazi laws like those in France and Germany, they can take comfort in the fact that Christchurch is not an important economic centre for non-whites who could flee to Auckland if they see any more of these Neo-Nazis out and about. Furthermore, it was fortunate this Far Easterner victim was not from a ethnic group that has significantly more economic clout in this city like the Chinese or the Koreans!"
Update 27 February 2010
"Police will not log Chch attack as race-based" The Press (link)
Police have no immediate plans to collect statistics on racially motivated crimes.

An attack on a 24-year-old Japanese man in Christchurch this week raised concerns about hate crimes in the city. Police maintained the incident was not motivated by race.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres renewed a call for police to record any racially motivated attack separately so action could be taken and minority groups would have greater confidence in the police.

A national police spokesman said police did not gather statistics specifically related to "hate crime"...

...According to Britain's Home Office, a hate crime is an offence motivated by hostility or prejudice based upon the victim's disability, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.

The Home Office says research has shown hate crimes cause greater psychological harm than crimes without a motivation of prejudice, create fear and encourage communities to turn on each other."
Why is there NO anti-hate crime legislation in New Zealand? is New Zealand alone in the developed world in not having it?

See also blog posts:
Everyday race hate rife in Christchurch 
Covert Racial Prejudice commonplace in NZ

For other posts about the problem of racism in New Zealand click: HERE

Today's posts - click here

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Housing Minister Resigns

Do you remember our post "Allegations of bribery at Housing New Zealand?" on 11 February ?(click here to read it) It ended with the comment "Stand by to see what else comes out of the woodwork over the next few days."

Exactly 2 weeks later the Housing Minister, Phil Heatley,  has announced his resignation which was "accepted with regret" by Prime Minister John Key. And the reason for his departure? his ministerial credit card expenses and not being "as familiar with the rules" as he should be. See his statement here  in which he said:
"I charged two bottles of wine already highlighted this week to my account as food and beverages. There was no food included in this purchase, and I accept this could be viewed as an inaccurate representation of the expense."
Two bottles of wine, that was a bit sloppy perhaps but was it really worth resigning over? to err is human after all and to forgive is divine. Even Mr Key has made some slip-ups in recent weeks, look how easy it was for him to forget about owning those mining company shares. See "'Sloppy' Key to sell uranium shares"(source)
"New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, has admitted to being "sloppy" after it was revealed he owns shares in an Australian mining company which has uranium interests.

New Zealand has had an anti-nuclear stance for the past 25 years and is passionately anti-nuclear.

In 2001 Mr Key bought about 1 million shares worth $NZ200,000 ($157,382) in a small Australian gold exploration business called Jackson Minerals.

Last year it merged with a uranium mining company called Scimitar Resources to form Cauldron Energy, which has a number of uranium exploration projects.

Mr Key admits he should have got rid of the shares.

"It's a small technical issue. I've been busy running the country," he said.

"I'm the first to admit it was a bit sloppy."
Mr Key says the shares are now worth very little and when he offered them to his 12-year-old son, even his son did not want them.

Mr Key now plans to sell them."
See also: "Key to sell uranium mining shares" - "Prime Minister John Key says he will sell his shares in a mining company that has extensive interests in uranium mining. Mr Key was confronted about the shareholding on TVNZ's Q+A programme in the context of his Government's policy to open more conservation land to mining."

Mr Heatley's resignation statement went on to add:
"I have absolutely no desire to become the focus of a distraction for this Government, which has much to do to grow the economy, invest in jobs and help Kiwis get ahead."
Will the NZ public buy it? watch this space.

Today's posts - click here

Liberty Templeman's Parents Speak Out.

Liberty's parents pictured at the murder scene, 2008
The Northern Advocate has picked up on an exclusive story that was published in the print version of the UK's Colchester Daily Gazette. In it Liberty Templeman's parents spoke about the trial in Kerikeri of Theo Kriel who was found guilty of the murder and indecent assault of their daughter.

According to the Advocate's version of the story Mr Templeman wants Kriel moved to an adult prison and says he has yet to feel the repercussions of his crimes:
"Andy Templeman, 49, told the UK-based Daily Gazette newspaper that Kriel should be in an adult prison rather than a secure youth detention facility.

"Apart from lack of freedom to walk down the street, there has been no repercussions to his actions for the last year and a bit.

"I want him to go to adult prison, and sooner rather than later. The thought of him having not quite the life of Reilly but having it fairly easy is absolutely abhorrent.

"However, I don't want to join those campaigning groups and have Liberty made into a celebrity campaign. This is between us and the courts or whoever."

Asked about his thoughts on the boy himself, Mr Templeman was dismissive. "I don't really have the head space to think about him," he said.

"There is too much going on to really start thinking about him and his family. I've been watching him and his family throughout the trial, just to see if there's any emotion over this from any of them, and there's absolutely none, just no emotion at all. 
 That last comment is quite significant, we are reminded of the mother of the 14 year old youth who battered Scottish Woman Karen Aim to death telling Karen's family "He's not putting us through shame. We are not ashamed." (source) The article continued:
"I think when the pathologist was talking there was some beginnings of emotion from his mum, but that was it."

He said Kriel's family had made no apology to him so far.

"Me and Rebecca have no desire to go and speak to them at all. If anything, it has to be the other way around," he said.

Looking ahead to next month's sentencing, he could say only that nothing would make up for the loss of his daughter.

"Whatever the sentence, for murder it's only something like a minimum 10 years. Whatever it is, it doesn't bring Liberty back. Whatever it is, it will never be enough."
It is stunning that Kriel has yet to show any remorse for his actions and appalling that the Templeman's were forced to endure the excuses and weak defence that were presented during the trial.

We've already commented that for murder to be proven so must intent and he’d already admitted to killing Libby. So we are left with the supposition that the trial was held because the only defence open to him was to try to show provocation. The jury didn’t buy it and decided that Kriel did intend to kill Libby Templeman. Why? we may never really know. I’m sure her family, who were forced to endure a trial and the glare of media publicity, would like that burning question answered too.

There are all sorts of rumours around as to the nature of Kriel’s personality, talk of him being bullied and of him keeping a scrap book about Libby. But, it’s just that – nothing more than rumours, maybe we will know more about him and his thought processes when mitigation and pre-sentencing reports are presented next month.

Some NZ newspapers also published today the image of Theo Kriel as he appeared just before Libby's murder in 2008 after clarification on the suppression order was given by the trial judge.

This blog will not be publishing out of date images of a child, when a more up-to-date image of Kriel is released we may.

Today's posts - click here

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Migrant Stories - Leaving New Zealand

Continuing in our series of Migrant Stories: first hand accounts of migrant life in New Zealand, taken from locations around the net.

Unfortunately the problems migrants encounter continue right up until the moment they leave New Zealand, but it doesn't end there. Their departure from the country is an expensive process that often has repercussions that continue for months, sometimes years, after they've left. It not just re-establishing careers, climbing back into the housing market, getting kids up-to-speed at school and re-building empty savings accounts.

Extraction from New Zealand is NOT an easy job, this is taken from Expatexposed and shows the sort of things that go wrong. If you're thinking of emigrating to NZ and telling yourself "oh well, if we don't like it we can always leave, can't we!" read on:
 "After a move from hell day last November when we used the men in red to pack up and ship our stuff.  We thought it would be nice last week to finally recieve our stuff and it couldn't get worse! we were a bag of nerves worrying about the state of it!

4 Broken plates, both upright standard lamps broken beyond repair! but the best is half our load did not turn up I am not talking boxes here but signifcant items

Ou removals arrived last Thursday 3 hours later than quoted the guys were good however, about 4pm they started unwrapping.

I said 'oh you are clearing space'

'no' they replied 'this is it'

we were minus our main sofa, our dinning table, 4 of the 6 dinning chairs,and 6ft bookcase to name but a few. The inventory that was used for packing did not correspond to the numbered items that we recieved ie the whole lot had been renumbered! The Customer Services asked us to unpack everything before we could determine what was missing as if a sofa is hidden in a box! so we have had 3 manic days of empytying boxes. All boxes had been repacked off site and not in our view which is worrying about what might have been taken! also we had to resort everybox to asscertain what we needed and didn't.

Upoon a phone call today, I have since learned the items are still in NZ and will be put on a container tomorrow so we will be without our items for 6-8 weeks.

To top all this I emptied the final amount out of our NZ bank last week all the house proceeds etc have transferred fine, thought nothing of it until yesterday when my debit card was rejected, we have been without internet access for 4 days when I go on this morning the money has vanished into thin air! just waiting for the final thing now! (do I want to return NO WAY after the dire customer service we have recieved I am thankful I am home!)"

Another person responded with an account of their own packing nighmare

"Oh this reminds me so much of our packers! One young lad turned up to pack our things. He was very inexperienced which was reflected in the amount of things that got broken coming from NZ to UK.

However, the next day 2 other men turned up to help pack it in the van.

They dropped the piano and it fell through the French Doors. They stuffed as much as they could in the van and then said they had misjudged how much we had, so got another van. The things were then transferred to that van that day - but it was not sealed (when we left Germany everything was sealed into the container whilst we watched it leave our home.

We then got a phone call to say they had had to unpack all our things at the depot and repack it Therefore, none of the numbers matched and they did not know what was in the boxes as I had packed it myself. They admitted they just guessed! When we unpacked it - it was hilarious to see what they had put on the boxes!

It all arrived 8 weeks later with the piano completley broken, the sofa and chairs had packing tape all around the velour and was unwrapped. Heavier boxes had been packed on top of lighter boxes, so they had all fallen through. The sports equipment was a write off as it was not wrapped in bubble wrap - although it had been when it left the house. All the musical instruments were broken, and because it had been stored for a few weeks in the damp - all the music was green!

We did get a little compensation -but it was capped so not enough to buy a new piano or instuments.

It was the worse move ever and we are so used to moving around.

Unfortunately, the packers just took the whole thing very casually and I guess we should have been stricter at the time and demanded we be at the depot when they unpacked it - but that is with hingsight!

When we moved from our first house to our second once back in the UK - the professionalism was so different to what we had experienced in NZ..."

Today's posts - click here

Monday, February 22, 2010

Palmerston North 'NOT A Safe City' - Updated

It's good to see the residents of Palmerston North being given the chance to have their say about the spin being put out that the City is safe (see other posts about Palmy's issues here: Link) and that crime, especially violent crime, and gangs aren't a problem:
By MARIKA HILL - Manawatu Standard:

"The victim of a mugging and surprise assault has hit back at the mayor's claims that Palmerston North is a safe city.

A fun night out turned into a terrifying ordeal for Alannah Giles and three friends when they were attacked by eight teenagers while walking down Linton St at 1.30am on February 14."
Eight? some may call that a "gang" but not in Palmerston North
"After the attack, mayor Jono Naylor said he believed the city was not dangerous at night.

"We all need to be aware of steering clear of people who perhaps look threatening, and have some common sense about where we are and at what time of day," he said at the time."
So is he saying parts of Palmy are no-go areas at night? what about increasing police patrols?
"Miss Giles decided to speak out after a report in the Manawatu Standard last week. She said her group, two men and a woman friend visiting from Blenheim, were walking into town together.

"We're all in our twenties, we're allowed to be on the street at night," she said."
So are the crims unforunately.
"Her two male friends, also Massey University students, were left with black eyes and split lips after the unprovoked attack near The Brewer's Apprentice. "It was supposed to be a big, fun night out," Miss Giles said.

Eight youths, some aged just 13, appeared from a hiding place and started punching and kicking the two men.

Miss Giles said the youths picked on the smaller of her male friends, kicking him in the head while he lay on the ground.

"I was just thinking about that guy that got stabbed in The Square. They could have had knives."

The assault came a month after 22-year-old man was stabbed by a group of youths in The Square. Miss Giles said she tried to stop the fight but was "booted" by the boys and her bag was snatched. "I don't think they intended to rob me. I was just getting in their way."  
The following day this appeared on Stuff
"Backlash as youth crime escalates

Harsher penalties for child offenders are being called for after a string of violent crimes by Palmerston North youths...

...Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar said the problems experienced in Manawatu were the same throughout New Zealand.

He said the problem of violent youth crime, which includes the beating of an off-duty police officer by a group of south Auckland youths on Friday, was self-inflicted.

"I blame my generation who have allowed the youth justice system to become so liberal and so politically correct that we have removed all consequences for the offenders."Young offenders needed to be caught earlier and punished more harshly, he said.

"There have got to be consequences and that needs to start right from the first sign of wayward behaviour, not just crime, we got to have it in the schools."We don't want these wayward youths wandering the streets the way they are."

Mr McVicar criticised the current family group conference system, which involves the family, friends, police, and victims, deciding on an offender's punishment. "The family group conference system was sold as world class ... I think it's the biggest disaster to ever happen to our justice system..."
Update 9 March 2010
Attack victim well after brain surgery
"A violent attack near The Square in the weekend left a 23-year-old Palmerston North man unconscious in the gutter with serious head injuries. Wellington surgeons removed part of Jonathan Thompson's skull to relieve pressure from brain swelling caused by his injuries.

It is not known whether he sustained head injuries by falling or being punched or kicked in his head.
His friend, Teri Maaka, said it was a disgusting, unprovoked attack on someone in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mr Thompson was walking alone beside The Square when a group allegedly attacked him. He underwent surgery at Palmerston North Hospital before being flown to Wellington Hospital by the Square Trust Rescue Helicopter. He is expected to make a full recovery..."

Read about how Palmerston North's (the city that  'banned' the number 13) entry in Wikipedia was censored to remove references to crime and gangs in case it scared off professionals from settling in the city: "MidCentral Health medical recruitment consultant Christine Wood said there had been two cases where doctors, one from Israel and another from Germany, had declined work in Palmerston North after looking the city up on Wikipedia."

Today's posts - click here

Indian Student Attacked In New Plymouth No Longer Feels Safe In New Zealand

Yet another disgusting example of violence against visitors in New Zealand was highlighted today in the trials of men involved with the beating and robbery of an Indian man in New Plymouth last November.
"New Zealand's reputation has been sullied in the eyes of an Indian student savagely beaten in a New Plymouth graveyard.

Solan Hoeta, 20, unemployed, pleaded guilty in the New Plymouth District Court on Friday to the aggravated robbery of the 26-year-old in the early hours of November 6 in the St Mary's Pro Cathedral grounds...

In his victim impact statement to the court, the Indian man had said he no longer felt safe in the centre of the city and feared that Hoeta and his friends would again attack him. "As a visitor from overseas it has left him with a bad impression of life in New Zealand," the judge said.

Earlier, Hoeta's counsel Paul Keegan said there was a degree of provocation in the attack as a result of the groping. (Ed. provocation? oh come on it's shameful to try to blame the victim for this!)

However, Hoeta had planned the attack, conscripting others to help lure his victim to the secluded graveyard.

He had admitted to police that he had wanted to get him for what he'd done earlier "and I wanted his nice flash stuff."

The lack of remorse outlined in Hoeta's pre-sentence report was because of Hoeta's lack of maturity and naivety, Mr Keegan said. Hoeta had since written a letter of apology for his actions.

The judge said that Hoeta had with others lured his victim into a secluded area and savagely beaten and robbed him of his watch, cellphone and wallet.

The beating left the man unconscious, with a deep cut to his chin and he had to be hospitalised.

"I have seen the aftermath in the photos today," the judge said.

Sadly, Hoeta had tended to blame the victim and his co-offenders but accepted that could be a reflection of his naivety and relative youth, Judge Davidson said.

Jayden Aldridge was sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty to assault with intent to injure, an assault on a female and common assault. He had punched his partner in the head several times and again offended while on bail. Judge Allan Roberts sent Aldridge to jail for one year."
Only a year?! The judge didn't exactly throw the book at the people responsible and they're likely to be back on the streets before long. No wonder the victim feels pretty let down and fears for his safety still:
"In sentencing Hoeta to 2 1/2 years in prison, Judge Bruce Davidson, of Wellington, said the sentence reflected the pre-meditated nature of the "joint escapade against a very vulnerable victim which had resulted in nasty injuries".
 "Escapade" isn't that trivialising the crime somewhat?

We're surprised that this sort of thing is starting to happen somewhere like New Plymouth, it used to have a fairly good reputation.  Perhaps its a symptom of an increase in racism during the recession that seems to be affecting most of the country. And with feeble sentences like that being given out no wonder it's getting worse.

See blog post "Discrimination against Asians still a key issue in New Zealand" - Asian New Zealanders and international students continue to experience racial discrimination and harassment, according to a report released by Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres.

It seems that discrimination has increased over the last year (perhaps this is a result of a 'kiwis first' mentality during the recession?) with Asians being the most discriminated against. Overall around 10% of New Zealanders experienced discrimination and it looks like police still don't collect data on racially motivated crimes.

Today's posts - click here

Man beaten with bat in violent home invasion


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