Vandalism blights tourist's trip

'We don't have a lot of money to replace tyres'

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 06/08/2014
Tugdual Gauchery
CHARLOTTE CURD/FAIRFAX NZ
WHEELY UNHAPPY: French tourist Tugdual Gauchery, 22, had his van tyres slashed early on Sunday morning in New Plymouth and the experience has tarnished his year-long trip around New Zealand.

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Having his tyres slashed was a deflating end to the trip of a lifetime for a French tourist.

Tugdual Gauchery, 22, returned to his van in New Plymouth early on Sunday morning to find two of his tyres had been slashed with a knife.

He had left his van parked in the CBD while he worked a shift at a inner city bar.

"I have been travelling New Zealand all year and I had no problems anywhere else," he said.

"It is not very good for New Plymouth or for New Zealand when people leave unhappy.

"Especially tourists. There are a lot of young people like me travelling this country and we don't have a lot of money to replace tyres."

Gauchery had settled in New Plymouth for the last couple of months of his trip and is scheduled to head home to Europe next month, with his New Plymouth-based girlfriend, Sofie van den Tillaant.

Van den Tillaant said she was disappointed that anyone would slash tyres in New Plymouth, and it was frustrating it happened to a tourist.

"He was very lucky he could phone me to pick him up at 4am, but other tourists may not have had someone here to help them," she said.

"Situations like this are mindless vandalism and are a sad reflection on society. Especially in what should be such a nice and flourishing town, like New Plymouth."

Gauchery, who is trying to sell his van before he leaves the country early next month, said the police had watched CCTV footage of the incident.

"But in the video it is too dark to see who the person is," he said.

Although Gauchery had third party, fire and theft insurance he was unaware his policy did not cover vandalism.

"I think for foreigners maybe the insurance need to explain to us better which one to get here," he said.

"I just want people to be aware so they can be safe."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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