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New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

Old Nov 12th 2006, 11:00 pm
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Default New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

I was shocked to hear about the recent abduction, robbery and assault of a newly wed Dutch couple in the Bay of Islands a day or so ago, they were subjected to a five hour ordeal at the hands of two men whilst on their honeymoon in a camper van.

A week earlier they had been warned about the dangers of camping in free areas by a local petrol station attendant, but like many tourists thought New Zealand was a safe country. His words to them were somethig like...anywhere that is free is probably not safe......seriously, New Zealand is not as safe as it is probably made out to be.

I wonder how much the tourism industry is to blame here for giving out false impressions of New Zealand as being a safe place, it is something that I certainly believed before I got here but it is a view that I no longer hold. I have witnessed more crime here than I ever did back in the UK.

Does the NZ tourist industry have a moral duty to inform visitors that New Zealand has as much crime as any other westernised country and that people need to take the same precautions as they would do in their own country in regards to their personal safety.

This is not the first time that tourists have been assaulted in camper vans http://www.nzherald.co.nz/location/s...ectID=10010634 nor will it be the last unfortunately. Time for a bit of honesty I think.

Last edited by Nerine; Nov 12th 2006 at 11:05 pm.
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Old Nov 12th 2006, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

Why do people believe that it would be any different here to anywhere else in the world.
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Old Nov 12th 2006, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

Don't know for sure but here's my theory:

I think it's something to do with the spin that Tourism agencies put on the country: a unique selling point.

Post 9/11 people were wary of travelling, were looking for safe destinations, NZ presented itself as an ideal location for the North American, Asian and European markets and this was capitalised on.
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 12:10 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

In the context of 9/11 NZ is a safe destination, as far as anyone can know.

It is not a natural target for terrorism, does not have a large population of minorities that might resort to such tactics. The one historic terrorism event in NZ was conducted by the government of so called friendly EC country.

The tourist guides I have browsed about NZ (such as Lonely Planet) seem to have a realistic view on safety and security. The rest is advertising, which means 'buyer beware'.
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 12:33 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

Originally Posted by Nerine
I was shocked to hear about the recent abduction, robbery and assault of a newly wed Dutch couple in the Bay of Islands a day or so ago, they were subjected to a five hour ordeal at the hands of two men whilst on their honeymoon in a camper van.

A week earlier they had been warned about the dangers of camping in free areas by a local petrol station attendant, but like many tourists thought New Zealand was a safe country. His words to them were somethig like...anywhere that is free is probably not safe......seriously, New Zealand is not as safe as it is probably made out to be.

I wonder how much the tourism industry is to blame here for giving out false impressions of New Zealand as being a safe place, it is something that I certainly believed before I got here but it is a view that I no longer hold. I have witnessed more crime here than I ever did back in the UK.

Does the NZ tourist industry have a moral duty to inform visitors that New Zealand has as much crime as any other westernised country and that people need to take the same precautions as they would do in their own country in regards to their personal safety.

This is not the first time that tourists have been assaulted in camper vans http://www.nzherald.co.nz/location/s...ectID=10010634 nor will it be the last unfortunately. Time for a bit of honesty I think.
l go camping in victoria in OZ all the time, never heard of anything like that happening here and no one has ever warned me not to camp in certain areas.
Is crime worse in NZ then OZ anyone know the statistics.
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 12:42 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

Originally Posted by Lord Pom Percy
l go camping in victoria in OZ all the time, never heard of anything like that happening here and no one has ever warned me not to camp in certain areas.
Is crime worse in NZ then OZ anyone know the statistics.
Don't know the stats but I believe we have high rates per population of abuse by a known person, and in certain areas they are trying to copy the LA gang culture. Which is causing high rates of crime for initiations.
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 1:56 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

The US state dept in its Consular Information Sheet describes crime in NZ as being fairly low but has increased in recent years, it mentions that the most prevalent crime is theft or attempted theft from cars, camper vans and hostels.

10 years ago concerns about the safety of tourists in New Zealand were strong enough for the Miniser of Police to launch a leaflet called "Keeping Safe In New Zealand: A leaflet for visitors" in the press release at the time he talked about a German couple in Auckland who had their campervan stolen, the Japanese student beaten in a street robbery and of the criminal elements in our society which see visitors as easy target. BTW - has anyone ever seen this leaflet, what happened to it?

Taking a travel agents website at random if I may:
www.letsgo.co.nz/advice/safety.asp leaves one with the impression that NZ is relatively safe and that tourists aren't at particular risk, and it's not the only tourism website to portray this image

David Carter, National Party Tourism spokesman recently spoke in response to a British travel insurance company survey which showed that tourists returning from New Zealand made the fourth highest number of claims for theft and traffic accidents.

He said that New Zealand seemed to be developing an image of petty crime and dodgy roads but that tourism was vital to our economy: With a levelling off of international tourists NZ could not afford to have its image sullied by a perception of lawlessness and petty crime.

But I think New Zealand can't afford to NOT give people more information about lawlessness and petty crime, there should be more specific advice about the dangers of camping at free sites or that hitch hiking is no safer here than anywhere else in the world.

With every tragedy or traumatic robbery NZ's reputation suffers so much and it's a terrible shame. A bit more education and a little less spin may just make people more aware of the risks and therefore a lot safer.
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 1:56 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

Originally Posted by jueinnz
Don't know the stats but I believe we have high rates per population of abuse by a known person, and in certain areas they are trying to copy the LA gang culture. Which is causing high rates of crime for initiations.
And because NZ is such a small country any halfway horrid crime against anyone and especially a tourist is always front page /TV new headlines.Its very sad ,for these poor people.What a devastating experience.
My advice is always park your camper van in a camping ground with plenty of others at night time stops.There are opportunist and sick people everywhere in every country..and when one is asleep is not a good time to be caught by surprise.
These sick people could have been committing violence for either money for drugs and/ or gang initiation rites ,I agree.
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 2:05 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

The use of drugs, especially P, seems to be at the root of a lot of crime here. It's ruining this wonderful country and wrecking so many lives.

IMHO It's one of the most real dangers facing our society today, more so than terrorism or global warming. I'd like to see a lot more resources going into tackling this problem and a bit more action from our polys to really sort it out: NZ could lead the world on this one.
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 3:34 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

I live about 15 minutes from where they were abducted and I have to admit to being really freaked out by it all. It's so sad for the couple and I suspect something they will never get over.
Personally I wouldnt camp anywhere that wasnt a designated area - but I really am a total wimp so I'm not for a second suggesting they were wrong. Just really unlucky. It has caused tremendous upset up here - people really are very distressed by it. All I can say is it's not usual - but I really really hope its not a sign of things to come We have just been listening to radio NZ and they have been discussing it. And they were asking exactly that - can NZ be advertised as 100% pure when there is a danger of things like this happening? I can't answer that

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Old Nov 13th 2006, 3:54 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

Originally Posted by pixi-dust
I live about 15 minutes from where they were abducted and I have to admit to being really freaked out by it all. It's so sad for the couple and I suspect something they will never get over.
Personally I wouldnt camp anywhere that wasnt a designated area - but I really am a total wimp so I'm not for a second suggesting they were wrong. Just really unlucky. It has caused tremendous upset up here - people really are very distressed by it. All I can say is it's not usual - but I really really hope its not a sign of things to come We have just been listening to radio NZ and they have been discussing it. And they were asking exactly that - can NZ be advertised as 100% pure when there is a danger of things like this happening? I can't answer that
That's awful Pixi. And personally I think it's right to be freaked out by it. When we - as a society - aren't upset by this kind of thing, and it gets to be the norm and accepted, then that's when we lose ourselves.

I just stumbled across this little gem ... apparently New Zealand has the highest rate per capita of suicides between the ages of 15 and 24. Not good. Here's the main page.
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 4:12 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

But it's just an advertising slogan, no harm in that except when people start to believe it's true. New Zealand is 100% normal - not an advertising concept - just like most other places in the world where people have the freedom to do, say and think what they please.

It's a truely shocking attack and having it happen on ones doorstep makes it so muh more personal.

I'd like to think good will come of it though and some more acurate safety advice will given to visitors about how best to ensure their own personal safety. Information about safe campsites would be a good start and we need to see an end to all this clap-trap about NZ having a low incidence of crime.
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 10:07 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

I was going to direct you all to the NationMaster page but see Maz has done so - NZ has consisitently had almost the highest crime rate per capita for years, just above Finland, and it falls just behind Finland in the suicide rates. This is no coincidence. Think about it - both small countries with not a lot a lot to keep the 'youth' amused. Boredom=depression. Boredom=violence. Boredome=drugs (in particular P in NZ). Admittedly different countries use different methods of tallying up their crime so disparities in the figures will occur but the high NZ rate is quite well-known (amongst NZers too!). Petty crime is absolutely rife in NZ - house burglaries are not even responded to in some areas for about a week as it's seen as so common as to be almost insignificant.
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 10:34 am
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Default Re: New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

Originally Posted by mazi
I was going to direct you all to the NationMaster page but see Maz has done so - NZ has consisitently had almost the highest crime rate per capita for years, just above Finland, and it falls just behind Finland in the suicide rates. This is no coincidence. Think about it - both small countries with not a lot a lot to keep the 'youth' amused. Boredom=depression. Boredom=violence. Boredome=drugs (in particular P in NZ). Admittedly different countries use different methods of tallying up their crime so disparities in the figures will occur but the high NZ rate is quite well-known (amongst NZers too!). Petty crime is absolutely rife in NZ - house burglaries are not even responded to in some areas for about a week as it's seen as so common as to be almost insignificant.
Yes, the Colombian drug barons are thinking of coming to NZ, because it is where the action really is, if you are stupid enough to believe that Statistic you would probably believe old Soviet election results, 99.9 pople love the Great Chairman. No that statistic is about CRIMES REPORTED, when people actually have FAITH in their police, crimes get reported ! If you look at the bottom of the statistics report, it says that this does not reflect the real state of crime blah blah. This is obvious , isn´t it ?
To gauge real crime rates, see rates of murder, rape, burglary for a country, from the same website, NZ is nearly always in the safest few countries in the world !
BTW England has one of the lowest murder rates in the world, and a very low suicide rate, so we can´t be all that bad !
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Old Nov 13th 2006, 10:43 am
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Default New Zealand not as safe as it's made out to be.

Without having to disagree with the posts on this shallow web site, I must say that during my time in NZ there was only once when I felt uncomfortable.

Mrs Nice Guy and I were in the center of the North Island just prior to a days skiing. We stayed in Tamauranui, a rather quiet town with a distinctly one-horse town feeling about it. Indeed the only truly memorable thing about the town was a large Ford garage (just who do you sell cars to in a one-horse town?) and a rather shabby New world supermarket.

We went for an after hours stroll along the high street and there some distance ahead were a load of yobs standing on the corner. We could see plenty of alcohol bottles and much swearing. Almost simultaneously we both said lets not go any further and turned around back to the hotel.

Not much I know and probably an every day occurrence in many countries, some may call us wimps, but, call it a sixth sense or something, we decided that was the best course of action.

Strange thing is I come from a relatively rough part of town and incredible as it may sound had an upbringing that could have so easily led to the wrong side of the law, ending up with a bucket for a companion and a large chap as a bed-fellow.

We never experienced any other problems at all. Indeed walking down Custom Street just after I arrived in NZ I fell over a huge massive Moiri bloke walked over to me lying helpless, I expected a kick in the balls and goodbye all material goods. My belief in human nature was exalted when, literally with one hand he picked me up, checked me over, made sure I was OK (I was very shaken…….now I am a wimp!) wished me well and went.

What a nice chap!

What I am trying to say (rather badly) is that one’s own knowledge, beliefs, perceptions and attitudes have a lot to do with the subject of crime.

Don’t move or live in an unsavory area, do your homework on the area, look at are profiles of areas. Buy a gaff with a working alarm, get a dog, ensure you have secure locks, lock your car, buy a safe, the list is endless.

In my example we walked the other way.

My 2c worth, for what its worth.

29c in the Gold coast today.
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