A young tourist was beaten on a busy South Auckland street after chasing a woman who had stolen cash from her car - and no one came to her aid.

Germans Juliane Quanzt and Nina Pielstick arrived in Auckland about a month ago as part of a year-long working holiday, and have been selling strawberries in Karaka.

But on Wednesday in Papakura, they were robbed by a woman while counting money in their car.

Miss Quanzt, 21, said: "We were sitting counting money in the car, but we were doing it so nobody could see what we were doing.


"It was so hot, so I had my passenger door open a little bit. Then suddenly a woman was standing right next to me, between me and the door.

"She asked me why I had looked at her and I said that I hadn't looked at her. She looked like she was crazy; we were afraid."

The woman saw a cigarette packet sitting in the car and demanded it. It had about $20 in it for parking and Miss Quanzt told her she could not have it.

"She said: 'If you don't give it to me, I'll just take it.'

"Then she grabbed the box. My friend tried to hold the box but the woman ran away with it."

Miss Pielstick, 20, jumped out of the driver's seat and chased the woman. She caught up to her a few metres from the car and tried to get the box back. "The woman hit my friend. There were many people walking past and I was yelling out for help. Nobody did anything, it was scary," Miss Quanzt said.

"A group of five men walked past and I asked them to help but they just ignored me. I didn't know what to do, I didn't want to leave the car in case someone else tried to steal more of our things. I was asking people to help. There were even people sitting in a car two metres away from my friend, they just sat and watched. I think that's really sad."

Miss Pielstick was hit and punched and suffered scratches to her face.


Seconds later, as the woman ran off, a police car drove past. The tourists reported the incident to police, but were shocked at the reluctance of the public to help. Their experience has not put them off New Zealand, though. "We have met so many nice people here. We've just never seen anything like that before."

If you have information, contact Counties Manukau police on (09) 259-1200.