Police are appealing for help to track down a man who woke two French tourists near Raglan by doing a haka, then beat and robbed them.
And they've warned of the damage to Waikato's international reputation such an incident can have.
Ngaruawahia CIB Detective Sergeant Mata John said the couple was sleeping on Wedneday night in their campervan on the side of Ohautira Rd, about 13km from Raglan town, when they were woken by a man doing a haka.
The couple – believed to be in their 20s – were then ‘‘accosted‘‘ by a group of about five intoxicated males who had turned up in a dark coloured four-door utility.
They told the couple they were camping on private land and had to pay rent.
They then attacked the man, punching him and attempting to drag him out of the campervan.
They gave-up, but not before making off with a variety of the tourist’s items.
While the man was not left with any serious injuries, John said the attack was extremely concerning ‘‘given the time it happened and the sense of isolation the victims would have felt’’.
She said any assault was unacceptable, but this particular incident had the potential to cause far reaching damage given the visitors were from overseas.
‘‘The Waikato, and in fact the rest of the country, prides itself on being a safe, family friendly place to visit and the police want to ensure we do our part to maintain that hard earned reputation.‘‘
She urged the public to help identify the attackers.
One of the main offenders was a solid-to-fat Maori man with black hair and a goatee beard. He was about 175cm tall and was wearing a black and white T-shirt.
The second offender was a Caucasian male with short blond hair, who was also described as solid-to-fat.
He was about 178cm tall and wearing a green hooded sweatshirt with white writing on it and a green cap.
Anyone with any information should contact John at the Ngaruawahia Police Station on 07 824 8199 or anonymously via 0800 555111.
- Waikato Times