Monday, January 6, 2014

New Zealand: German Tourist, 20, Refused a Hospital Bed in Christchurch, Subsequently Beaten Up, Robbed by Three Assailants

According to, a German tourist, 20, arrived in an ambulance from Kaikoura last Friday evening (January 3) and was treated and discharged about 2300 hours.

Kaikoura is a town on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is located on State Highway 1, 180 kilometers (111 miles) north of Christchurch.
The German youth said his physician in Kaikoura felt his eye infection required urgent specialist treatment. Subsequently, he was told by another physician that his condition did not warrant an overnight stay. He was prescribed eye medication and told to stay in a nearby hostel.
Finding the recommended hostel full and unable to find alternative accommodation, the tourist returned to the hospital's emergency room, but was again turned away for sleeping in the waiting room.
COMMENT: Running out of options, the tourist then went to a nearby bus terminal where at 0130 hours, while using free WiFi to Skype-call his parents, 
The increasingly frustrated German, then walked to a nearby bus terminal where was attacked by three men as he used free WiFi to Skype-call his parents in Germany. His parents heard their son's screaming as the assailants continued to kick and beat him. 
The German said: "I lay on the ground and they kicked me just for fun. One kicked me in the face."
Then, the men stole the tourist's laptop, cellphone and his tote-bag, which included gifts for his family as well as his passport. 
The assailants' attack left him sore and bleeding from the lips and knee, but otherwise uninjured.
Security guards phoned police, who arrived about 30 minutes later.

At 0515 hours on Saturday (January 4) left the police station after convincing the police officers to escort him back to Christchurch Hospital and request permission for him to sleep in the emergency waiting room for a couple of hours. This time, given his bad luck, the request was granted. He then left the hospital at 0700 hours.
When asked, a Christchurch Hospital spokesman explained that a patient in a hospital bed overnight cost more than $500, depending on the care required.
Detective Sergeant Joel Syme said investigators would review security footage from the bus terminal in an effort to identify the German's assailants.

In retrospect, the German tourist believes that he should have refused to leave Christchurch Hospital the first time."Maybe they would have phoned police and maybe I would have had to go to jail for 24 hours, but that would have been better than staying the night alone in Christchurch," he said.
He was also disappointed the hostel receptionist refused his request to sleep on a couch and did not offer to call other hostels.
The young tourist said the "very bad night" was his only negative experience during five months in New Zealand. He hitch-hiked back to Kaikoura on Saturday.

This is actually a pretty sad story from the standpoint of a small country desperate to attract foreign tourists to its shores.

Yet, seemingly rarely are residents or foreigners who are crime or accident victims ever contacted by the New Zealand accident and crime victim compensation program for which residents and foreigners alike are eligible to request compensation for injuries and financial losses. See below:

As I have said on numerous occasions over the years, any crime victim who has sustained major financial losses as a result of a violent crime that has been reported in local media, should as a matter of policy, be contacted by NZ's crime victimization program and be asked to file an application so as to minimize their injuries and financial losses.