Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Fifth arrest made in Whakatane tourist robbery

Police at the scene of the serious assault. Photo / Alan Gibson
Police at the scene of the serious assault. Photo / Alan Gibson

A fifth teenager is due to appear in court over a Boxing Day attack on two young German tourists.

Police said today a 15-year-old youth had been arrested and charged over the early morning incident in Whakatane.

Four other teens, aged between 14 and 18, have already appeared in the Whakatane District Court on charges of aggravated robbery.

All five are due to appear in the Whakatane District Court tomorrow, and police would continue to oppose bail.

A 19-year-old man and 18-year-old woman were freedom camping when they were beaten with wooden bats early last Thursday.

They suffered cuts and bruises and the man lost his front teeth.

The woman also suffered facial injuries and a fractured arm.

They were now spending time in the Bay of Plenty with friends, police said.

"This young couple have showed tremendous fortitude to bounce back from this terrible incident, and when we spoke to them today they said they were happy that the whole of New Zealand had given them so much support,'' detective senior sergeant Greg Standen said.

"They were overwhelmed by the generosity shown by New Zealanders''.

More than 200 emails of support and kind wishes, including offers of gifts, travel and accommodation, had been received through the Victim Support network, Mr Standen said.


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