NZ Police Warn Campers

WELLINGTON ~ New Zealand police have warned tourists to avoid camping in remote areas after a pair of Dutch honeymooners were abducted from their campsite in the north of the country.

The woman was sexually assaulted and the pair were forced to withdraw money from cash machines as their abductors – believed to be two indigenous Maori men – drove them around in their campervan during an ordeal that lasted about five hours, police said on Monday.

The couple were getting ready to sleep in their campervan at Hararu Falls in the Bay of Islands region in the north of the country when they were attacked late on Friday.

Police warned tourists against camping in isolated areas, although investigation head Detective Inspector Mike Pannett said the area was generally safe.

He said tourists should camp in a “proper camping ground or an area where other people are camping.”

Petrol station attendant Dion Gee said a week earlier he had warned the couple against camping in isolated areas after they asked him if there were any free places to stay.

“I said, ‘Anywhere that is free is probably not safe,'” Gee told the New Zealand Herald.

“They just kind of laughed but I said, ‘Seriously, New Zealand is not as safe as it’s probably made out to be.'”

Pannett said the couple had been badly traumatized by their abduction.

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