Attacked hitch-hikers keen to carry on

Last updated 16:27 04/04/2014
Michaela Brandl
ON HOLIDAY: Michaela Brandl, one of the hitch-hikers who were attacked on the West Coast, is still in Christchurch Hospital.
Niki Honda
ON HOLIDAY: Niki Honda, one of the hitch-hikers who were attacked on the West Coast, is still in Christchurch Hospital.

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The two hitch-hikers seriously injured in an assault on the West Coast say they want to continue their travels around New Zealand.

Michaela Brandl, 28, and Niki Honda, 27, were both injured in Sunday's attack. Brandl was stabbed three times in the neck and Honda suffered pelvic injuries.

They were picked up at Whataroa and found injured near Franz Josef.

A 38-year-old man Otaki man was charged with wounding Brandl and robbing the two women.

He remains in Christchurch Hospital, where he had surgery for dog bites suffered during his arrest.

The man, whose name is suppressed, has also been charged with the murder of Christchurch caregiver Amy Elizabeth Farrall, 24.

He was remanded without plea at a court hearing held in the hospital on Wednesday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney said police had met with the two women daily since the incident.

"They are very brave women. They have come through a very distressing ordeal but are still feeling overwhelmed by the incident and its ongoing effects."

They have been visited by friends made during their travels in New Zealand, and are reportedly overwhelmed by gifts from the public, including cash, help with flights home or a rental car to continue their travels.

Sweeney said the generosity of donations would "go a long way" to encouraging the pair to continue their travels.

Police and Victim Support have been coordinating donations for the pair. A bank account has now been set up and donations can be made online or at ANZ branches.

Bank account: 06-0821-0714633-00

Account name: Donation Fund for Niki and Michaela

Both women are still in Christchurch Hospital in a comfortable condition. It is unknown when they will be discharged.

Some of Honda's family have arrived in Christchurch.

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- The Press

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