A 20-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly trying to rob two German tourists at knifepoint.

The incident occurred on Paihia's Marsden Rd about 7.40pm on Sunday when the visitors were returning to their vehicle. Sergeant Ross Laurie, of Kerikeri police, said they were approached by an offender who was holding a knife and allegedly demanded money. The tourists managed to drive away unharmed and alerted police. The alleged offender was located later that evening.

Ben Morton, 20, of Waiotira, appeared in the Whangarei District Court yesterday charged with assault with intent to rob.

No plea was taken and Judge Keith de Ridder remanded him on bail to re-appear in Kaikohe District Court on April 15. The charge carries a maximum term of 14 years in jail.


It comes nine days after two tourists sleeping in a campervan at Ahipara were allegedly assaulted and robbed. Police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett said an Argentinian man, aged 28, and a 29-year-old woman from Poland, who are on a working holiday around New Zealand, were in their van when the attack happened about 4am on March 25. Mrs Kennett said a number of items were taken during the aggravated robbery and the international visitors were taken to hospital, but were discharged later the same morning. Three men, one aged 22 and two aged 25, are facing aggravated robbery charges.

Two of the men were located and arrested shortly after the incident and have been remanded in custody to re-appear in the Whangarei District Court on April 11. The third person was located and arrested on Friday, April 1. He has been remanded in custody to appear in the Kaitaia District Court on April 12. Police were not making any further comments as the case was before the court.