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Camping Ground Where Tourists Attacked To Close

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Police cordon at camping ground. NZPA
Police cordon at camping ground. NZPA

Wellington, Jan 19 NZPA - The camping ground where a Dutch tourist was allegedly raped and she and her partner robbed at knife-point is to close.

A 25-year-old man allegedly attacked the tourists, a 25-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman, when they were staying at Five Mountains Holiday Park in Tuatapere, west of Invercargill.

The man armed with a knife had entered their stationwagon as they slept about 6.40am Thursday.

He allegedly raped the woman and stole about $700, police said.

The accused was dobbed in by his mother who recognised the tea towel and knife allegedly used in the attack, when she saw them in the media. He was given interim name suppression and was remanded in custody when he appeared in Invercargill District Court on Saturday, charged with rape.

He would face further charges when he appeared in court again on Friday, police said.

Camping ground owners, shearing contractors Zane and Tina Barrett, said they were "absolutely devastated" by the attack and had decided to close the holiday park at the end of March.

"We help a lot of young people out and try and give them work and this is just a massive blow to us," said Tina Barrett told the New Zealand Herald.

"We are very good friends of the [defendant's] family and our hearts go out to his mum. It is heartbreaking for them."

Zane Barrett said the whole community felt let down.

"It is such a stupid, mindless thing to have done."

The Tuatapere community was hailing the man's mother as a hero.

Tuatapere Community Board deputy chairman Les Johnston said the town fully backed her and was proud of the stand she had taken.

"She's a straightforward sort of person, she doesn't beat around the bush and she wouldn't stand for anything like that," he told the Southland Times.

"It's Great she could do that."

Detective Scott McKenzie, of Invercargill, said yesterday police had spoken to the man before his mother intervened and her call had "played a part in the overall scheme of things".

"It's not a piece that was crucial to breaking the case, but it was certainly helpful," he told the newspaper.

The Dutch couple, who were helping police, had not yet decided whether they would continue on their holiday, Mr McKenzie said.

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